North West Aerospace Alliance honours Lancashire apprentices

A Burnley-based apprentice has won the top title at the annual North West Aerospace Alliance awards.

Josh Lavin North West Aerospace Alliance Awards

Josh Lavin of Burnley-based Paradigm Precision was named overall winner at the event, which celebrates the achievements of young apprentices and trainees from the North West of England’s aerospace and defence industry.

The ceremony, held at the prestigious Imperial War Museum North, Manchester, saw apprentices, employers, training provider’s and mentors from across the North West Aerospace industry battling the elements to hear speeches from the 2015 winner of the Best North West Aerospace & Defence Apprentice award Aiva MeIngaile, Safran Nacelles and Dr Priyanka Dhopade, senior research associate at the Oxford Thermofluids Institute and recently chosen by the Women’s Engineering Society as one of 2017’s Top 50 Women in Engineering under 35.

In a change to the awards, and to acknowledge that apprenticeships are evolving by enabling apprentices to not only achieve a level 3 standard, but now support training up to Masters and PHD level two new awards were introduced – Aerospace Engineering Technician and Aerospace Engineer. The winners of these two inaugural awards were Sam Williams of Blackpool-based Magellan Aerospace and Amy Wolstencroft of Burnley-based Safran Nacelles respectively.

Salima Bana from BAE Systems carried off the “One to Watch” trophy, while Themis, Burnley College scooped the Employer & Training Provider prize.

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.

11 teams of young people from North West universities, colleges and aerospace businesses competed for the title at Burnley College in January. During the ceremony Safran Nacelles were revealed as the winning team and presented with £1,500 prize money by Royal Aeronautical Society and a trophy sponsored by Wincanton.

David Bailey, chief executive Officer at NWAA, said: “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." Winners of Best Aerospace & Defence Apprentice Awards:  Overall Winner – Josh Lavin, Paradigm Precision, Burnley  Aerospace Engineer – Amy Wolstencroft, Safran Nacelles  Aerospace Engineering Technician – Sam Williams, Magellan Aerospace, Blackpool  One To Watch – Salima Bana, BAE Systems, Samlesbury and Warton  Innovation Award – Dalton Green, Hyde Group, Stalybridge