Smart-thinking earns apprentice top award

AMRC Training Centre Apprentice of the Year Shivan Morkar has scooped another top award for bringing fresh thinking and creative ideas into his company, helping save the business time and money.

The 21-year-old William Cook employee, who won the AMRC Training Centre’s Apprentice of the Year title in March, has now been crowned winner of the Engineering / Manufacturing Apprentice of the Year at the Sheffield City Region Apprenticeship Awards.

Judges praised Shivan’s enthusiasm and smart thinking in his role as a CNC machinist at the £15m William Cook rail plant in Leeds, holding him as ‘an excellent example of how new thinking from an apprentice created a genuine cost and time saving’.

Shivan, of Bradford, is in the first year of his mechanical manufacturing degree apprenticeship with the AMRC Training Centre, combining work with part-time study to gain valuable knowledge and understanding and earning as he learns.

He was pleased with his win, saying his apprenticeship has helped him to develop. “It is a great feeling to have your hard work, determination and passion recognised with an award. This apprenticeship has had a huge impact on me - it has enabled me to grow as an individual.”

Nikki Jones, Director of the AMRC Training Centre, said Shivan is an asset to both the AMRC and his company. “We are extremely proud of him. Shivan has all the right qualities - his attitude, passion, enthusiasm and motivation are second-to-none. He has an incredibly bright future ahead of him. His energy and drive will no doubt see him rise to the very top.

“Credit must also be given to William Cook for embracing and investing in apprentices, and for understanding the tremendous value they can bring to the company in driving innovation and productivity.”

William Cook designs and engineers key components for trains, combat vehicles and power stations.  It is an acknowledged world leader in specialist structural steelwork for prestige construction projects such as Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium at White Hart Lane in London.

Shivan is among an intake of apprentices now in full time roles and studying for degrees through the company, which has pledged to continue its partnership with the AMRC Training Centre and is recruiting 12 more apprentices to begin in September.

Sir Andrew Cook, company chairman, said: “A maxim of mine is ‘If you want to stay in business, you must be the best in the business.’ This requires capital: financial capital, machinery capital and human capital. Of the three, the human capital is the most important. Young people must be given jobs and trained well if a business is to survive and prosper. They must be motivated and enthused.

“Too often I see people, young and old, hiding behind a computer screen. This is no good. Repeatedly I have pledged to be the ‘last man standing’ in the real world of manufacturing. Manufacturing, not intangible software or discretionary disposables, but hard products of fine quality and engineered to work.

“The human capital of our apprentice schemes is the most important element of this, but this comes with a price: a price which has to be built into the product if there is to be long-term continuity in the life and health of the business.”

The new recruits will be selected on the basis of their enthusiasm for engineering, willingness to work and educational attainment. They will have the chance to work on high-value products in the defence, rail, architecture and energy markets.

Smart-thinking earns apprentice top award

Shivan with his award, which was presented by host Ashleigh Porter-Exley and Jo Owens from Openreach. Photo: JPI Media

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