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Rotherham steel trainee scoops top UK apprentice award

South Yorkshire steel apprentice Joseph Briggs of Liberty Speciality Steels has won the coveted national title of Metals Industry Apprentice of the Year 2018.

Mechanical apprentice Joseph (22) from Rotherham was chosen by The Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers alias Wire Workers in recognition of his ‘exceptional development, high-level skills and commitment to progression in the metals industry.’

A delighted Joseph, who is currently based at Liberty’s Aldwark Cast Products division, received his award last night (May 15) during a high-profile industry dinner at the prestigious Painters’ Hall in the City of London.

The company which produces high-grade steel for use in aircraft and cars worldwide, has just finished its latest recruitment round of apprentices who will train under Liberty’s respected skill building programme.

Joseph, who has just finished his training, has been at the heart of Aldwark’s rapid growth drive since Liberty acquired the business and its sister plant at Stocksbridge just over a year ago. Output has risen by 63% during that time as Liberty aims for full production.

Earlier this year Joseph was a national finalist in the Engineering Employers Federation Apprentice of the Year contest but narrowly missed out on the top spot. This time he took the top title against competition from talented trainees right across the UK.

Commenting on his win, Joseph said: “It’s a great honour to be recognised nationally like this and I’m grateful to Liberty for all their support and thorough training.  When I look back at my time since joining the apprenticeship scheme in 2015, I am amazed at how far I have come.  I started as a young man with an interest in fixing things and am now well on my way to becoming a certified mechanical engineer.  I have grown so much in my academic ability, knowledge and skills and my confidence has grown too.  I would recommend the Liberty Steel apprentice scheme to anyone looking for a career in manufacturing.”

Liberty’s apprenticeship training manager Tony Goddard said: “Joseph is a credit to us with his talent and positive attitude to learning but he is just one of many high-quality young people on our books who will form the future backbone of this industry.”

Apprentices recruited by Liberty Speciality Steels are supported in their development by a specialist training centre that the company runs in association with Sheffield College at its plant in Stocksbridge.

This article was published by Liberty Group on 15.05.18

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