WorldSkills UK and EEF recognise Hawker Beechcraft apprentices


Three apprentices from HBC recognised in the finals of WorldSkills UK and EEF apprentice competitions.

Three of Hawker Beechcraft Corporation’s apprentices are celebrating their success, having been recognised in two of the UK’s major apprenticeship awards.

Ben Welsby, who recently completed a three-year airframe technician apprenticeship at HBC’s facility in Chester, was recognised as one of the UK’s most talented apprentices at the WorldSkills UK Skills Show. He was one of the finalists from across the country who were honoured at an awards ceremony held at the Birmingham NEC in November.

First-year apprentices Lee Connah and Whitney Brisco were finalists at the North West region’s Engineering Employers’ Federation (EEF) Future Manufacturing Awards, both in the category of Outstanding Achievement by a First Year Apprentice. They submitted examples of their NVQ programme and evidence of Wider Key Skills, prior to interviews at Glazebrook Warrington. The regional dinner was held at Salford City Stadium in Manchester.

“Reaching the finals is a fantastic achievement for our apprentices and we are immensely proud of all three of them,” said Clive Prentice, HBC vice president and general manager for EMEA Operations, Global Customer Support. “Their success highlights the quality of the apprenticeship programmes which we have at Hawker Beechcraft, and we look forward to Ben, Whitney and Lee having long and successful careers with us.”

HBC has seen positions on its apprenticeship scheme become increasingly sought after as school leavers look for additional education opportunities. This year, applications to the scheme were up 20 percent compared to last year.

“These apprenticeship schemes are vital both to HBC and to the industry in the North West and North Wales as a whole,” Prentice continued. “The scheme enables us to equip people with the high-level skills, experience and knowledge required to ensure our business remains competitive and at the forefront of engineering excellence. More generally, engineering and manufacturing are seen as key to rebalancing the UK’s economy and for driving future growth.”