Somerset apprentices fly high at prestigious manufacturing awards

Seven engineering apprentices from Bridgwater College were hailed as manufacturing stars of the future at the recent South West Regional Engineering Employer’s Federation (EEF) Future Manufacturing Awards.

Matthew Neal, a trainee at HepcoMotion, was given the Outstanding Achievement by a First Year Apprentice award, and fellow Bridgwater student Lloyd Cox, who is completing his apprenticeship at Rolls-Royce plc, was runner up.

In the same category, Thomas Edwards was highly commended. Two Bridgwater apprentices – Isaac Herbert and Parsa Jafaria – were also shortlisted.

Matthew said: “It’s a great feeling to be recognised in this way for doing something I genuinely enjoy and that is setting me up for life. I’m only at the very start of my career in manufacturing and already it is proving to be both rewarding and challenging in equal measure.”

He will now move on to the EEF Future Manufacturing National Finals in London in on 27 January 2016.

Final year Bridgwater students also featured, with Benjamin Jenkins (GE Oil and Gas) and Michael Rose (Powrmatic) shortlisted in the Manufacturing Apprentice of the Year (Final Year) award. Michael was highly commended/

Paul Goss, head of engineering at Bridgwater College, added: “These accomplishments clearly demonstrate how the college’s engineering department listens to the needs of our employers and responds to their needs by working together. As a result, we produce first-class apprentices that add real value to our employers’ businesses.”