Ben Townsend, aged 20, who works as an apprentice patternmaker for Advanced Insulation, was up against talent from companies such as Dyson, BAE Systems and Airbus to win the Intermediate & Advanced First Year Apprentice Award at this year’s EEF Future Manufacturing Awards in London.
The award recognises the outstanding contribution being made by manufacturing apprentices across the country. Winners are selected for regional and then national awards by a panel of judges drawn from business leaders, industry experts and academics.
Ben Townsend, apprentice patternmaker at Advanced Insulation, said: “This is a massive honour and a privilege to have this award not just for myself and my company, but for all apprentices on their career path. It’s been a fantastic experience in the first year of my apprenticeship. I’ve developed so much and winning this tops it all off. Many other young people might be wondering if they should do an apprenticeship, all I can say is it’s the best decision I’ve made.”
Judges crowned Ben the winner after he impressed them with his passion for engineering and role as an ambassador for apprenticeships.
Andrew Bennion, managing director at Advanced Insulation, commented: “Ben’s dedication to his craft has set him apart from apprentices in some of the UK’s most prestigious manufacturing companies. He has worked on projects worth hundreds of thousands of pounds and is learning each day from Tony Nash, senior patternmaker and the patternshop team, here at Advanced Insulation. The transfer of these types of skills is crucial if the UK is to breach the often-cited skills gap in the industry.”
Stephen Phipson, CEO at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, says: “Ben’s hard work and enthusiasm make him an outstanding apprentice. Apprentices like Ben are the future of our sector and have a vital role in securing prosperity of engineering, manufacturing and the wider economy for years to come. He has a great career ahead of him and is sure to go from strength to strength.”
Ian Mynett, chief executive of BEMA, Ben’s training provider, commented: “The progress Ben has made with BEMA and Advanced Insulation is nothing less than spectacular! It’s great to know that all the investment in his training has enabled him to reach the highest standard in his field. As a previous BEMA ‘Apprentice of the Year’ he just keeps on achieving.”