• Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

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James and Joe rewarded for apprenticeship excellence

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 11.09.21Outstanding Excelsior Academy apprentices James Rose and Joe Knights have scooped top awards for their superb skills and attitude learning from some of the country’s best engineers.

Joe was honoured as CNC Apprentice of the Year and James as Fabrication Apprentice of the Year at a ceremony for the top performing students on the prestigious Engineering Training Centre apprenticeships programme.

The 18-year-olds stood out as two of the top performing eight students from the 144 apprentices enrolled onto the Engineering Training Centre’s acclaimed programme.

Engineers training the apprentices in skills such as milling, welding and fitting were impressed by the work ethic and can-do attitude of the Excelsior Sixth Form College students.

And the efforts of Joe and James have landed them paid apprenticeship posts at top North East employers – James as a technician in Newcastle University’s Mechanical Engineering Department and Joe as a CNC miller with Petersen Stainless Rigging Ltd in Blaydon.

Excelsior enjoys a successful partnership with the Engineering Training Centre – 24 of its pupils enrolling on four-year apprenticeship programmes with the training provider every year at its Scotswood Road base.

Steven Bolton, Engineering Training Centre Training School Manager, said: “Both James and Joe are destined for bright careers in engineering and have proved to our instructors how determined they are to seize the opportunity they have been given.

“James has worked enthusiastically and shown great interest in his training. From day one he has shown a genuine interest to learn new skills and techniques to improve his knowledge, instantly picking up practical techniques and applying them well.

“Joe has given 100% effort and has demonstrated very good natural ability while always looking to improve on his work.

“He has a very pleasant and mature approach to training and produced his final assessment to a very high standard.”

James said: “I started my apprenticeship in September 2014 – I saw the opportunity advertised and thought it would be good for me.

“It’s class. I’ve learned everything really, how to use machines and the staff here put me forward for the post at Newcastle University.

“I cut samples to size based on students’ needs and drawings and we help out when they do workshops.”

Joe uses computer numerically controlled machinery at Petersen’s factory to mill parts to size and specification for the company.

“I was very happy to get taken on by Petersen’s – there was a lot of pressure to get a job and it’s a great company to work for,” said Joe.

Claire Goodwill, Excelsior College Director and Joe Temple, Excelsior Technology teacher, who has led the link-up between the academy and the Engineering Training Centre, were both at the awards ceremony to congratulate the prize winners.

“It’s a huge achievement that out of more than 140 apprentices all their hard work has been recognised in this way,” said Joe.

“Their skills and effort will allow them to say in the future to employers that they were amongst the very few to be honoured on the course in this way.”

Excelsior Academy is the first school in the region to link up with the Engineering Training Centre.

Formerly known as the Rolls-Royce North East Training Centre, it offers apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship training in mechanical, fabrication, electrical and general engineering at NVQ Levels 2 and 3.

It works with a pool of about 200 North East engineering firms, providing apprentices to meet their skills requirements. It has a highly successful track record of placing its apprentices with top employers who offer superb career opportunities to the talented youngsters.

It is located within Michell Bearings, part of the British Engines Group.

Kate Simpson, Group Director for British Engines, said: “We are very pleased to be involved with the Engineering Training Centre. It is a fabulous facility and this is such a lovely event.

“It’s fantastic to see young people being rewarded in this way and to have their parents and employers here and involved is very special.”

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By admin