Aerospace industry celebrates young talent

Young apprentices and trainees from the aerospace and defence industry have been honoured at the North West Aerospace Alliance's New Talent Awards.

The ceremony recognised young people working or studying in the North West aerospace industry, along with employers, training providers and mentors.

The overall winner of the award of North West’s Best Aerospace & Defence Apprentice, along with a £1,000 prize, was Lucas Benson from BAE Systems Ltd. Lucas won the Sub36 Apprentice Award in October.

The winners for Aerospace Engineering Technician and Aerospace Engineer were Will Fallows, Paradigm Precision and Matthew Eccles, MBDA Missile Systems respectively.

The One to Watch trophy, which is presented at the discretion of the judging panel to an individual showing a great deal of potential and a promising future, was won by both Nabeela Desai of Paradigm Precision and Ryan Naylor from MBDA Missile Systems.

The Employer & Training Provider prize went to Burnley College for a second consecutive year.

NWAA’s Business University Challenge aims to bring business apprentices, university and college students together to compete head-to-head in a series of challenges to test their negotiation, innovation, communication and presenting skills.

It is hugely important that we increase the numbers of talented young people into apprenticeships to plug the skills gap that threatens our ability to achieve growth.

Thirteen teams of young people from North West universities, colleges and aerospace businesses competed for the title at Preston’s College on a snowy day in January. During the ceremony MBDA were revealed as the winning team and presented with £1,500 prize money.. 

Candidates who displayed outstanding leadership and performance during the Business University Challenge were identified by the judges and two Outstanding Professional Excellence awards and prize money of £200 were presented to Lloyd Duxbury, Paradigm Precison and Helen Wood, from MBDA. Due to the exceptional high calibre of individuals, the judges really couldn’t decide between three candidates so NWAA sponsored a third Outstanding Professional award which was presented to Jack Windle, Safran Nacelles.

David Bailey, chief executive officer at NWAA, said: “The New Talent Awards has become a key event for the North West’s Aerospace and Defence Sector. It is important that we continue to recognise and reward the achievements of the talent emerging in our industry.

"It is hugely important to our industry that we increase the numbers of talented young people into apprenticeships to plug the skills gap that threatens our ability to achieve the growth the aerospace market is experiencing.”