Trip of a lifetime awaits AMRC Training Centre Apprentice of the Year Russell

12 March 2015

A seventeen year old apprentice from Sheffield-based automotive tools specialist Eldon Tools has won the trip of a lifetime to Boeing's headquarters in Seattle, to see the aerospace giant's new Dreamliner being made.

Russell Fox, from Atherton Road, Arbourthorne, in Sheffield, won the trip by being named the AMRC Training Centre's Boeing Apprentice of the Year.

Russell also won the Barnsley College-sponsored Academic Achiever of the Year Award at the inaugural Apprentice Awards staged by the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

Nominating Russell for an award, his employers, Eldon, said: "From day one Russell has impressed us with his commitment and attitude towards his apprenticeship. He has a very good work ethic in every aspect of his attitude to both AMRC and Eldon."

Trainers praised Russell for being "A hardworking, conscientious and success-focused apprentice," adding: "A key element of Russell's success is his determination. He has set himself a high target and will not settle for anything less."

Russell applied for an apprenticeship after completing GCSEs because further classroom based learning didn't appeal to him.

He said of his experience at the AMRC Training Centre: "I have really enjoyed the freedom to learn that the Training Centre gave me; this has been reflected in my academic achievements this year. I am now keen to progress on to a foundation degree."

A total of 10 awards were presented to AMRC Training Centre Apprentices at a celebration dinner, held at Firth Hall, where Yorkshire born David Pitchforth, managing director Boeing Defence UK was keynote speaker.

Mr Pitchforth told apprentices and guests: "As a former apprentice myself, I am delighted to be here today; the values, skills and knowledge that you learn here will -believe me -stand you in good stead for the rest of your lives.

"I believe in the value of apprenticeships so much that half of my leadership team at Boeing Defence UK are former apprentices and the company is all the better for that. Tonight we are recognizing achievement, innovation, fresh thinking, raising standards and awareness, values that all of us at Boeing hold dear to our hearts."

Winners on the night also included AMRC Training Centre trainer John Dobinson.

Apprentices, who chose John as Mentor of the Year, praised his enthusiasm, use of different teaching methods and ability to motivate.

"He obviously enjoys his job, because he's so enthusiastic," said one.

"John makes learning very enjoyable," said another. "He is always passionate and enthusiastic. He's very motivating."

Other award winners were: Sandvik Coromant Machining Apprentice, Ross Coipel, from Maher; OerlikonFabrication and Welding Apprentice, Liam Webster, Nuclear AMRC; Cromwell Maintenance Apprentice, Jonathan Watson, Nikken Kosakusho Europe; Hexagon Metrology Technical Support Apprentice, Bradley McDonald, Sheffield Forgemasters International and Apprentice Employment Agency Business & Administration Apprentice, Stacey Curtis, University of Sheffield.

Special Recognition Awards, sponsored by Haas, Huvema and the MTA were presented to Jack Wilsher-Hepworth of AESSEAL, Kesson Lomas of Lomas Engineering and the AMRC Training Centre's Master Cutler's Challenge Team.

Jack received a special recognition award for the voluntary work he has done, promoting the AMRC Training Centre, Kesson received her award for the progress she has made throughout her engineering apprenticeship and the Master Cutler's Challenge Team received its award for raising more than £7,000 for the Whirlow Hall Farm Trust and Sheffield Hospitals Charity.

AMRC Training Centre Director of Training, Alison Bettac, said: "I would like to congratulate all the award winners.

"All our apprentices and their trainers work hard to achieve the best results, so the winners really are the cream of the cream. We are also grateful to all the sponsors who backed our inaugural Awards and to David Pitchforth from Boeing, who shown our apprentices how high they can rise."

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