Shrewsbury News

Double win for Museum at Apprenticeship Awards

Double win for Museum at Apprenticeship Awards The Michael Beetham Conservation Centre at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford has for the second year in a row, been awarded the West Midlands Regional Winner of the ‘Small Employer of the Year Award’, at The Apprenticeship Awards 2011. It was a double win for the Museum as 2nd year Apprentice, Nathan Pugh was highly commended in the ‘Advanced Apprentice of the Year’ category.

The regional awards luncheon and presentations were held on Friday 13th May at Enginuity, Ironbridge.  The Conservation Centre’s Training Manager Mick Shepherd and Conservation Centre Deputy Manager Darren Priday, attended as finalists within the ‘Small Employer of the Year’ category and Apprentice Nathan Pugh attended in the ‘Advanced Apprentice of the Year’ category. 

As the regional winner, the Conservation Centre will now go through to the National Judging Stage, if selected they will be invited to the finals at the National Apprenticeship Awards, an Oscar style ceremony which will take place in London.

RAF Museum Training Manager, Mick Shepherd says:

“This result is fantastic.  I was extremely proud to see Nathan be highly commended in the West Midlands ‘Advanced Apprentice of the Year’ category. He has been with us for a little under two years and in that time he has developed into an ingenious young engineer who routinely comes up with novel solutions to some very unusual engineering challenges.

The award for the Michael Beetham Conservation Centre is the icing on the cake.  We have a small dedicated team of technicians and support personnel based in Shropshire who look after the engineering integrity of the whole of the RAF Museums aircraft collection.  Our apprentices have become a vital element of that team and we are extremely proud of all of them.  We have only had apprentices for a little over 5 years and each year we have adjusted what we do to ensure our youngsters get the very best practical training and the associated support they need to give them the best possible start in their chosen careers.  Awards such as this prove we are on the right track; it also reassures the Trustees of the Royal Air Force Museum, and our wide range of supporters, that their efforts have been worthwhile.”

The success of this ever-widening international scheme emphasises the growth and value attached to the Museum’s forward thinking apprentice initiative and wider conservation training programme.  The Museum is committed to preserving aviation heritage through its conservation of aircraft and associated exhibits, whilst recognising the need to ensure that unique skills are retained, nurtured and developed amongst the younger generation. Each Apprentice works closely with a master craftsman and given the ever-increasing work that the Conservation Centre undertakes, growth in these specialist trades is essential.

The Museum works in partnership with Telford College of Arts & Technology and Wolverhampton College for the academic and specialist vocational education of the Apprentices as well as the assessment and verification of their skills for NVQ awards. 

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