Rebecca Wolfenden, who also won the award for best technical apprentice, impressed the judges with her consistently excellent academic and technical work in addition to her professionalism and role-model behaviour. She was also congratulated on her ambassadorial role in promoting engineering to young people.
Rebecca has already won the EEF North West Champion Outstanding Achievement for a Final Year Apprentice along with the IET Technical Apprentice Award for 2013. Last year she was presented with a Chairman’s Gold Award for her work as part of the ‘Bedflex’ team who developed a device to help rehabilitating service personnel recover their fitness.
Recently Rebecca has supported the refurbishment of the wind tunnel at Warton, a complex process which she tackled in a thorough and professional manner. Phil Liston-Smith Wind Tunnel Specialist said: “Her skills, both technical and interpersonal significantly exceeded those expected of an apprentice at that stage.”
Receiving her award from Nigel Whitehead, Group Managing Director – Programmes & Support, Rebecca said: “”I am in complete shock not only to have won the Technical Award but then win the Apprentice of the Year Award - this means the absolute world to me. Having studied at an all girls grammar school, my choice not to go to university and to take on an engineering apprenticeship was completely out of the norm and not readily supported at school. The fact that I have now been given both these awards has given me a huge boost and its amazing to be recognised for my ability and hard work.”
Alongside the overall winner, a further ten awards were given to apprentices across the UK Company as follows:
• Kelsey Rawlinson from Maritime – Submarines at Barrow-in-Furness won the Community Achievement award with recognition for her ‘outstanding personal commitment to making a difference in the community’
• Chris Walling from Maritime – Submarines at Barrow-in-Furness won the Electrical Award with recognition for ‘his knowledge and in-depth understanding of the high quality standards required’
• Paul McKeown from Naval Ships at Glasgow won the Fabrication Award with recognition for amassing ‘a great spread of experience over his apprenticeship and taking on additional responsibilities including mentoring younger apprentices’
• Sally Topping from Military Air & Information at Samlesbury won the Business Administration Award with recognition for ‘her drive and achievements in a very short space of time’
• Stephen Matthews from Military Air & Information at Samlesbury won the Academic Commitment Award with recognition for ‘achieving the highest level in his apprenticeship framework’
• Alastair McGoldrick from Military Air & Information at Samlesbury won the Personal Achievement Award with recognition for his ‘ability to balance his work commitments whilst completing his Royal Marines commando course and supporting the Prince’s Trust’
• Raj Tetali from Military Air & Information at Samlesbury won the Higher Apprentice Award with recognition for his commitment ‘to being the best and getting the best out of his apprenticeship’
• Christopher Johnson from Electronic Solutions at Rochester won the Business Achievement Award with recognition for ‘delivering an additional 16 extra units, 11 days ahead of time resulting in £500K in additional sales’
• Sonny Wilson from Maritime Services at Portsmouth won the Mechanical Award with recognition for ‘demonstrating a great passion for his trade and taking on additional responsibilities’
• The ‘Hand-Bike’ team from Military Air & Information at Warton won the Apprentice Innovation Challenge with recognition for developing a new gyro mechanism to assist disabled cyclists
Nigel added: “The Apprentice Awards go from strength to strength: this year we also announced the 2013 winners of the Apprentice Innovation Challenge and once again, I was astounded by the quality of the designs and the inspiration of our apprentices. The Apprentice Awards is my favourite event of the year!"
Every year, we invest more than £80M per annum in the UK in education and schools activity, university partnerships and training and development for employees including apprentices and graduates. At any one time we have 800 apprentices in training.
Group picture – from left to right: Nigel Whitehead, Alastair McGoldrick, Sally Topping, Rebecca Wolfenden, Raj Tetali, Paul McKeown, Stephen Matthews, Christopher Johnson, Sonny Wilson, Chris Walling, Kelsey Rawlinson