Foprt Vale apprentices have UK in a spin

Two final-year apprentices from Simonstone engineering firm Fort Vale have made it through the regional heats of the UK Skills Competition and are now set to take on the rest of the UK for a chance to compete on a global stage.

Jonathon Oddy and Benn Goodwill are finalists in the CNC Milling and CNC Turning categories, skills that combine cutting-edge design with computer programming and engineering.

They will travel to the Birmingham NEC later this year and compete against their peers in front of an audience of over 75,000 people.

If they win they will be awarded a coveted place on the Great British Squad for the World Skills Competition in Abu Dhabi, October 2017.

“I’m really excited about competing and looking forward to travelling down to the competition. My family is really proud of me and, even though I’ll be really nervous on the day, I’m keen to show what I can do,” said Jonathon.

Fort Vale has taken on apprentices for 37 consecutive years, has taken 23 per cent of its current workforce straight from school, college or university and has seen three former apprentices gain seats on the company’s board of directors.

In addition, Fort Vale are board members of Training 2000, partners in the University Technical College at Burnley and members of the Burnley Bondholders Scheme. Alan Emerton is Fort Vale’s Apprentice Training Manager:

“Fort Vale competes on a global stage at every level from the shop floor to the senior staff. As a company we take great care selecting, training and developing our young engineers. We invest as much in them as they do in us. “We are delighted that Benn and Jonathon have been recognised amongst the best UK talent. Everyone here in Fort Vale will be keeping our fingers crossed for them.”