Talented apprentices and dynamic manufacturers from across the UK were recognised as national manufacturing champions at the EEF Future Manufacturing Awards held in London last week. The biggest winner on the night was Weir Minerals Europe, who scooped the Winner of Winners award – a title awarded to the most outstanding company amongst all the category winners.
The firm, a Todmorden-based manufacturer of wear resistant products to support wider industry, which employs took gold in the Health and Safety Award for the manufacturer that has achieved the most impressive or innovative improvements in the health and safety culture of their workplace. Judges were impressed with their use of employee engagement through their risk assessment process which led to a reduction in muscular skeletal issues in a demanding work environment.
Judges were also won over by Jessica Stone, aged 21, a first year apprentice at Airbus, who was crowned Outstanding Apprentice of the Year. The accolade came after she had battled her way through regional heats to make it through to the national finals. She was named the winner after impressing judges with her work as an apprentice ambassador and the way she took herself outside of her comfort zone to develop her skills.
Joining Jessica on the podium was Rebecca Luck, aged 20, a first year apprentice at Domino UK. Rebecca was crowned Outstanding Business Apprentice of the Year after impressing judges with her passionate presentations during the selection stage and her ambitious career plan.
Winners were selected by a panel of judges drawn from business leaders, industry experts and academics and was up against tough competition from a range of dynamic businesses, small and large, from across the UK.
Daniel Carr, Regional SHEQ Manager at Weir Minerals Europe, said: “Health and safety has to be ingrained into a company’s culture so strategies that improve standards and are aligned with our business objectives are of paramount importance. This award is an endorsement of the collaborative efforts of every person in our organisation – we’re delighted to have won.”
Jessica Stone, apprentice at Airbus, said: “This is a massive honour – I can’t believe I’ve won. It’s such a wonderful way to crown what has been a fantastic first year of my apprenticeship. I’ve developed so much and winning this tops it all off.
“I know that many other young people might be wondering if they should do an apprenticeship – all I can say is take the plunge and you won’t regret it!”
Other award winners announced on the night were: