The 18 year old steel work apprentices, Josh Proctor, Tom Richardson, and Bradley Pearce, have notched up some of the best scores in the UK during the first round of the prestigious UK Skills Construction Metalwork competition..
The apprentices were among 20 competitors who took part in regional heats which were held simultaneously across the country on 3 July 2013. They had to study detailed drawings and fabricate a base section of a crane from scratch within a seven hour period. Their finished products were sent off for adjudication by a panel of experts who invited the top ten candidates to attend the final of the national competition in the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham in November.
This week it was announced that of the twenty candidates, the Submarines apprentices ranked within the top five positions; with Tom coming fifth, Bradley ranking fourth and Josh scooping first place.
Second year Maritime- Submarines apprentice, Josh Procter, said: “I am very proud to have got the best overall score. This is the first time I’ve entered a competition like this so I’m looking forward to going to Birmingham to see what other steelworkers from schools, colleges and businesses can do.
“It’s going to be hard work training for the finals but I’ll do my best to bring back the gold medal.”
John Harris, 71, is one of the longest serving employees in Maritime-Submarines, having completed 54 years of service as a shipwright. He took on a new role two and a half years ago to train apprentices within the steelwork school within the shipyard. He now works four days a week to pass on his wealth of experience and skills to younger generations.
He said: “The apprentices performed really well during the competition so I’m not surprised they ranked so highly in the local heats. The work they were able to produce under pressure was fantastic and would present a serious challenge for any fully trained steel worker.
“It is important that we pass on all our key skills to the next generation of workers so that Barrow can retain the skills it is famous for and for BAE Systems to continue producing world-class submarines.
“I’m looking forward to working with the apprentices to hone their skills and push them to the next level so they can demonstrate their expertise in Birmingham. I’m sure these lads will go far and continue to do us all proud.”