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Apprentices inspire business leaders

18 June 2008

Two young engineering apprentices from Sheffield Forgemasters inspired a group of nearly 50 businessmen and women at a special event in Sheffield.

The event at the Cutler's Hall, hosted by the Master Cutler Gordon Bridge and managed by Business & Education South Yorkshire (B&E-SY) on behalf of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), aimed to encourage businesses to take on more apprentices.

Ashley Roberts and Jonathon Hill from Sheffield Forgemasters stood before the group of managing directors and senior executives to tell them about the value of their training and the benefits their employers receive in return.

The Master Cutler Gordon Bridge was overwhelmed by the confidence and enthusiasm of the young engineers.

He said: "Jonathon and Ashley were a credit to themselves and Sheffield Forgemasters. The passion with which they spoke about being apprentices spoke volumes about the importance of training young people and giving them the skills our businesses need. Engineering and manufacturing have gone through dramatic changes in the UK but we still need skilled and enthusiastic people if we are to compete with the rest of the world. With many more apprentices like these two, we should be facing a positive future in South Yorkshire."

Ashley has recently qualified following being shortlisted for National Apprentice of the Year. Jonathon joined Forgemasters last September and is already predicted a bright future with the company.

Delegates also heard presentations from Jackie Freeborn, Chief Executive of B&E-SY; Nick Brown, Area Director of LSC; Steve Tagg, Group HR Manager of Sheffield Forgemasters and Dawn Torres, Sales Manager of Torres Pumps.

"Ashley and Jonathon really brought our event to life - they were fantastic! To stand up in front of a group of Directors would normally faze an experienced speaker but not these two. In our feedback forms we asked delegates to mark the speakers out of five; Ashley and Jonathon were given sixes, which says it all really," said Business & Education South Yorkshire Chief Executive, Jackie Freeborn.

Visit Forgemasters apprentices section for further details.