South: Seven finalists named for Manufacturing Apprentice of the Year Awards

Judges have selected the finalists for the 2019 Southern Manufacturing Apprentice of the Year Awards. In both categories – apprentices in companies under £20 million turnover, and over £20m – the judging panel was impressed with the calibre of entrants.

Supported by headline sponsor Xtrac, and sponsored by MHA MacIntyre Hudson and Lloyds Bank, the Apprentice of the Year Awards celebrates the achievements of apprentices across the south. Founded and staged by The Business Magazine, the competition culminates in presentations at the Manufacturing Technology Centre, Coventry, on October 2.

The finalists are:

Companies over £20m turnover (alphabetically, by surname):

  • Matthew Dearing – working at UKAEA, Culham Science Centre, near Abingdon
  • Jamie Rusbridge – working at Xtrac, Thatcham
  • Katriya Sabin – also working at UKAEA, Culham Science Centre, near Abingdon
  • Thomas Thompson – working at AWE plc, Aldermaston, near Reading

Companies under £20m turnover:

  • Darryl King – working at Robert Bion & Co, Reading
  • Caitlin Smyth – working at Middlesex Aerospace, Basingstoke
  • Abbie Sullivan – working at Scott Tools, Maidenhead

Judges said: “We had a host of really strong entries which clearly demonstrated the benefit to the business they work for. However, some entrants were further through their apprenticeships than others so had a larger skill set and therefore demonstrated how they had made positive differences to the company – whether it be through cost-saving procedures, re-writing user manuals or being excellent role models to newer less qualified apprentices within the workforce.”

Lead sponsor Xtrac, the world’s leading supplier of high-performance gearboxes for motorsport, is a strong supporter of these awards and apprenticeships generally.

Peter Digby, president of Xtrac and an ex-British Airways engineer apprentice, said: “Manufacturing apprenticeships offer a great step into the important engineering and manufacturing sectors and create valuable skilled and incredibly loyal employees. Over 85% of all Xtrac apprentices are still working for the company, including the very first one from 1990.”

For the full Southern Manufacturing 100 list, go here.