Brinsworth based contract manufacturing specialists MTL Advanced held their first annual Apprentice of the Year awards ceremony on Wednesday 16th November at the New York Stadium, Rotherham. With esteemed guests including The Mayor of Rotherham Cllr Tajamal Khan and Master Cutler Dame Julie Kenny, the event celebrated the company’s apprentices’ success over the past 12 months.
The ceremony was hosted by MTL’s Operations Manager Michael Coates, who having himself started his career as a Fabrication Apprentice 34 years ago, highlighted the great progression opportunities available through the apprenticeship career pathway.
Apprentices from across all departments of the business were presented with awards for an array of categories. These included Outstanding Academic Achievement, Business Excellence, Machining Excellence, Commitment and Welding Excellence. The ceremony culminated with one of MTL’s apprentices receiving the sought-after title of Apprentice of the Year. The company also rewarded the students who have completed the first 12 months of their apprenticeship, as well as those who have recently completed their full apprenticeship with a special presentation at the end of the ceremony.
Karl Stewart, General Manager at MTL Advanced commented: “Apprentices are the beating heart of our company and we are committed to providing more opportunities for local individuals to begin careers in engineering and champion all of their achievements along the way.”
The company introduced their apprenticeship scheme in 2015, after opening an in-house engineering academy within MTL’s 300,000 sq. ft. facility with a dedicated full time training instructor and an initial intake of 10 apprentices. The apprenticeship scheme went from strength to strength and MTL’s apprenticeship scheme rapidly expanded to other areas of the business including Machining, Laser/Press Operation, IT and Business Administration. Over 60 apprentices have now come through MTL’s apprenticeship scheme and the hosting of their first annual Apprentice of the Year event was seen as a natural step to promote the ongoing success of their award winning programme.
With numerous talented MTL apprentices receiving recognition on Thursday night, it was Project Engineering Apprentice Luke James who was crowned as MTL Advanced Apprentice of the Year 2022 after also bagging the Business Excellence Award earlier in the evening.
Jason Reynolds, MTL’s Training Instructor said: “Luke started at MTL as a Fabrication & Welding Apprentice and after 4 years at the company has quickly progressed into a Project Engineer role. Luke is an exceptionally valued member of our projects team and is always happy to assist and demonstrates a willingness to learn.”
The award was presented to Luke by the Lord Mayor of Rotherham, Cllr Tajamal Khan who also delivered an impassioned speech about the importance of apprenticeships and the benefits they bring to the community. Master Cutler Dame Julie Kenny also presented an award on the evening, after also expressing her strong support of apprenticeships and her own path to success through skills and hard work.
MTL’s Business Manager Jamie Sharp added: “We would also like to say a huge thank you to all of our guests who attended the evening, including parents, family members and staff who came to show their support for our apprentices. A special thank you to guest speakers, Lord Mayor of Rotherham, Cllr Tajamal Khan and Master Cutler, Dame Julie Kenny. They are both true champions of apprenticeships and we thank them greatly for their support.”