Young Fylde engineers hailed in skills awards

Jack McGuinness (left) receives the Guild Trophy from Dave Oldman at Springfields
Jack McGuinness (left) receives the Guild Trophy from Dave Oldman at Springfields
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A young Fylde engineer led the way when Westinghouse Springfields held its annual Skills Awards Day, recognising the achievements of young engineers and employees in the past year at the Fylde nuclear fuel manufacturing site.

In addition to the annual apprentice awards, the achievements of employees who have gained higher education qualifications or completed the apprentice training programme were also recognised.

The apprentice prizes were presented by Dave Oldman, head of assets management at Springfields.

He said: “I began my career at Springfields as an apprentice. Engineering underpins many of the activities carried out on site and has played an important part in the success of Springfields.

“On a wider scale, Westinghouse is expanding its engineering services in the UK and, together with opportunities in its new build programme at Moorside in Cumbria, offers an exciting future for young engineers.”

A total of 13 different awards were presented by Mr Oldman and the top award, the coveted Westinghouse Guild Trophy for the Apprentice of the Year, went to 19-year old Jack McGuinness. Jack, who lives in Freckleton, is a former pupil of St Bede’s High School, Lytham.

The Springfields Engineering Apprentice Training scheme has operated for 64 years. Since the first intake of just seven trainees in 1950, almost 1,800 youngsters have passed through the scheme.

During the past 18 years, Springfields has also provided training for apprentices from external companies.

Today there are 59 apprentices currently employed on the scheme, of which 42 are being trained for external companies.

The Skills Awards Day coincided with the recent news that the Springfields Advanced Apprentice Training Programme has received joint approved accreditation from the Nuclear Institute (NI) and the National Skills Academy for Nuclear (NSAN) – the highest nuclear standard available.

It was judged by a panel of nuclear experts as enabling apprentices, on successful completion of their training, to meet the requirements for membership of the Nuclear Institute and for professional registration against the UKSPEC (Engineering Council’s UK Standard of Professional Engineering Competence) at EngTech level.