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JCB apprentices scoop honours at national awards

JCB apprentices

Two talented apprentice engineers gain top honours in EEF Future Manufacturing Awards 2013

TWO talented JCB apprentices have scooped top honours in a prestigious competition which tested their engineering skills and practical and academic knowledge.

Sion Lloyd and Dan Biggs, who both work at JCB Transmissions in Wrexham, notched up first-place finishes in the EEF Future Manufacturing Awards 2013. Sion won in ‘The Outstanding Achievement by a First Year Apprentice Award Wales – Regional Winner’ category, while Dan was named ‘The Outstanding Achievement by a Third Year Apprentice Award – Wales Regional Winner’.

Sion started with JCB Transmissions in August 2012 and has combined on-the-job training at the Wrexham-based operation with further studies at Coleg Cambria. He is no stranger to competition success having represented JCB and his college at the UK World Skills event held at the NEC Birmingham earlier this month, where he was one of six finalists.

EEF judges described him as a ‘very comprehensive, practical engineer, who will, without doubt, have a successful career in engineering’. They also said he was a credit to himself and his company. He will now go forward to represent JCB and Wales at the national final, which takes place in London in December.

Nineteen-year-old Sion (right of photo) said: ‘I am really proud of my achievement and would like to thank JCB and the college for their support. I am really looking forward to representing the company at a national level and will be giving it my very best.’

Dan Biggs (left of photo), who has previously won the JCB Global Apprentice of the Year and First Year Apprentice Award, was described by judges as an apprentice who ‘demonstrated drive, commitment, enthusiasm’ and showed ‘considerable technical knowledge in his project’. In addition, he has been nominated for The Most Inspirational Apprentice Award and is attending a national ceremony hosted at the House of Lords on 26 November.  

The 19-year-old Glyndwr University student said: ‘It is an honour and a privilege to win the award. Every day, I feel fortunate to be gaining priceless, real hands-on experience within a working environment. I have excellent support, training opportunities and mentoring from the company, and that has helped me immensely.’  

JCB Transmissions’ director and general manager, Robert Owen, said: ‘I am delighted by Sion’s and Dan’s achievements. They epitomize the success you can enjoy through hard work and commitment. For JCB, it is also excellent recognition of the company’s dedication to recruiting and developing apprentices so that we have the right skills in place to meet our ambitious growth targets.’  

Paul Byard, EEF region director for Wales, said: ‘Ensuring that the UK has future engineers, team leaders and managers is essential to long-term economic prosperity, which is why it is essential to nurture the talents of young apprentices such as Sion and Daniel.

‘Their enthusiasm is infectious and it is clear why they are such ambassadors for apprenticeships. They are undoubtedly assets to the future of the industry and I hope that their passion and interest encourage more young people to become engineers.’

JCB nurture young talent in all areas of their business through their ‘Young Talent’ programme, and since its launch last year have recruited more than 230 graduates, sponsored undergraduates and apprentices.

This year’s intake was the largest yet, with 130 young people joining the business under a £5 million scheme. In addition, undergraduates are sponsored through their university studies and spend a year in industry working for JCB, with a view to taking up roles with the company on graduation.

This year also saw JCB launch the brand new Advanced Apprenticeship in Engineering Manufacturing, a Level 3 qualification aimed at 16-year-old school leavers – a first in the UK.

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