Award-winning apprentice sets off on tour of Boeing's world's-biggest factory

24 August 2015

Award-winning Sheffield apprentice Russell Fox flies off to the United States for the trip of a lifetime this weekend.

Russell Fox at the AMRC Apprentice Awards 

Russell, 18, who lives in Atherton Road, Arbourthorne and works for Sheffield-based automotive tools specialist Eldon Tools, won the trip after being named the AMRC Training Centre's Boeing Apprentice of the Year at an awards ceremony in March.

He will spend a week in the United States, visiting Boeing's main commercial aeroplanes plants in Seattle, Washington, where approximately 80,000 employees work to produce more than two planes each day for airline customers around the world. Russell's visit will include Boeing's Everett plant to see the assembly lines of the world's most iconic aeroplanes such as the 737, 767, 777, 787 Dreamliner and 747 Jumbo Jet, the 'Queen of the Skies.' The world's biggest building by volume, Everett has a floor area big enough for almost 200 football pitches, and creates its own climate conditions.

Russell will also visit Seattle's Museum of Flight, the largest private air and space museum in the world, with exhibits that include a simulator used to train Space Shuttle astronauts.

Russell is also scheduled to visit one of Boeing's fabrication facilities, which make a multitude of complex specialty components, including structural composites, as well as Boeing's Renton factory, which built the largest aircraft operational during World War II, the B-29 Superfortress, and now assembles and delivers 42 Next-Generation Boeing 737 planes each month. Throughout his visit, Russell will meet with Boeing employees, including engineers, and he will find out what it is like to work for the world's largest aerospace company, which has a large and growing presence in the UK too.

Russell secured his Seattle trip prize at the inaugural Apprentice of the Year Awards organised by the University of Sheffield and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing, where he also won the Barnsley College-sponsored Academic Achiever of the Year Award. He later went on to be named 'Made in Sheffield' Apprentice of the Year.

Russell said: "I'm so grateful that my hard work and commitment throughout my apprenticeship has paid off.

"Not only am I AMRC Boeing Apprentice of the year but I also managed to win the Made in Sheffield Apprentice of the Year. I can't wait for my trip to Seattle to visit Boeing and I'm mostly excited about seeing their Boeing's Everett Factory.

"I've seen this on TV but to see this in real life will be a life time memory I will never forget- Just goes to show that hard work does pay off."

Sir Michael Arthur, president of Boeing UK and Ireland, said that as Boeing continues to grow in the UK, "our need for talented engineers increases. So it is vital that facilities like the AMRC Training Centre continue to train apprentices, some of whom will go on to work for Boeing or one of our many UK supply chain companies. These apprentices will be part of the bright future of aerospace in the UK."

Russell's employer, Eldon Tools, has praised his commitment, attitude towards his apprenticeship and his work ethic, while AMRC Training Centre trainers have described him as "a hardworking, conscientious and success-focused apprentice."

A spokesman for Eldon Tools, said: "Russell has got such an interest in what we do as a business. When he goes out with other people to test our tools and gets under the bonnet of a car, he knows exactly what he's looking at and how it works, which is such a bonus.

"He's a real enthusiast about everything he does. He throws himself into every challenge. He's a super guy."

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