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UK Apprentice of the Year announced at Apprentice Awards

Image showing an award winning BAE Systems apprentice
Lucas Benson from our Air sector, based in Samlesbury, has been named Apprentice of the Year at the BAE Systems UK Apprenticeship Awards.
Lucas – who also won the BAE Systems Craft Mechanical award – impressed the judges with his academic achievements; his commitment to achieving success and his engineering ability.   A former HGV Mechanic, he has now completed his Advanced Manufacturing apprenticeship and, while he has dyslexia, achieved Distinctions in every area of study including an HNC in Aeronautical Engineering. Lucas has already demonstrated strong creative and innovation skills, with tools that he has designed and produced already being used in manufacturing; improving process and creating efficiency savings.

Lucas said:  “During my time as a BAE Systems Apprentice, I’ve achieved personal and professional growth beyond my expectations. This included organising a charity event to pull a Typhoon down the runway.  It took three months of hard work, dedication and desire to deliver a show-stopping charity event which raised over four thousand pounds for our Innovation Challenge charity – Fisher House. Being trusted by the customer to pull an £80m aircraft, organising the event, liaising with stakeholders and networking has greatly improved my confidence and ability to work across functions.   I’m honoured to be working with the most cutting-edge aircraft alongside the best engineers in their field."

The annual UK Apprenticeship Awards celebrate the outstanding talent and potential of BAE Systems’ apprentices. This year’s awards were presented at a ceremony in Leeds hosted by Steve Fogg, Managing Director of BAE Systems’ Shared Services business.
 
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Steve said: "We are fortunate to employ some of the best talent in the industry, and our business is no doubt enriched by their continuing hard work and enthusiasm.  The BAE Systems Apprentice Awards lets us celebrate the great work and endless curiosity provided by so many outstanding employees.  This year, I am so proud to have extended our celebration to include a new Excellence in Trade Award. This has recognised three employees who started their working life as apprentices and who have delivered a consistently high level of professionalism in their chosen trade, throughout a long career with us. Huge congratulations to all of the winners, as well as those shortlisted.”  
 
Congratulations to all this year’s winners. Here’s why they impressed our judges:
 
 

Craft Electrical Apprentice of the Year - Tim Gray, Air

Tim’s attitude to learning has been exceptional and he integrates into any team with ease.
 

 

Craft Fabrication Apprentice of the Year - Lee Steen, Naval Ships

Lee is highly motivated, showing passion, drive and commitment.  Earlier this year he won the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights Queens Silver Medal – bronze award.
 

 

Technical Engineering Apprentice of the Year - Andrew Finlayson, Naval Ships

Earlier this year Andrew was named as the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights Apprentice of the Year receiving the Queens Silver Medal.  He has excelled in his technical knowledge and his commitment is outstanding.
 

 

Technical Operations Apprentice of the Year - Robert, Submarines

Robert is a fantastic role model to his peers. Feedback from his supervisors was consistently outstanding.
 

 

Business Support Apprentice of the Year - Heather Johnson, Air

Heather is an outstanding candidate academically and in the workplace. She has contributed to company savings and achieved huge success. Earlier this year, Heather was named the EEF Business Apprentice of the Year.
 

 

Higher Apprentice of the Year - Declan, Submarines

Declan has an incredible work ethic and excellent interpersonal skills. He achieves the highest standard, delivering a real difference to the business.
 

  

Outstanding Achievement Awards

Outstanding Achievement Awards recognise apprentices who have overcome challenges, and inspired others, with their determination to develop and succeed during their apprenticeship. 
 
  • Jake, Submarines
  • Kareen McQuade, Naval Ships
  • James Knight, Air
  • Laura Murphy, Electronic Systems
  • Joshua Worrall, Air
 
 

Excellence in Trade Award

These awards are new for 2019 and recognise individuals who started in the business as an apprentice and have excelled in their chosen field over a number of years, providing strong output and developing skills that have sustained a long-term career. 
 
Image from the UK Apprentice of the Year Ceremony 2019
 
Rowland, Submarines
Rowland joined the company as an apprentice caulker in 1978. He always gives 100% and produces work of the highest quality.

Tommy Skeith, Naval Ships
Tommy started his apprenticeship as a caulker burner at our Govan shipyard 50 years ago as a 15 year old boy. He is a shipbuilder with quality running through his veins, with a strong work ethic and a huge pride for everything the shipyard achieves. 

Paul Eaton, Air
Paul has been described by his colleagues as an “iconic fitter”. He has a great attitude and consistently hits his cost saving targets. Paul is a superb mentor to our apprentices too.