Reaseheath accolade for Bombardier apprentice engineer

An apprentice engineer at Bombardier’s Crewe works has been crowned Reaseheath College’s ‘Engineering Apprentice of the Year’.

Liam Barnett, 21, from Biddulph, Staffordshire, received his award from Bombardier General Manager Tony Webb at a workshop floor presentation in front of fellow apprentices and work colleagues. He is one of 16 engineering apprentices, aged 16 to 50, who are employed by Bombardier and trained by Reaseheath’s specialised staff.

Liam, who has completed his Level 2 apprenticeship programme and has progressed onto a Level 3 advanced apprenticeship, joined Bombardier three years ago after completing ‘A’ levels at Biddulph High School.

Bombardier’s Crewe factory specialises in servicing and overhauling rolling stock for internal and external customers. It has a skilled workforce of 350 and is investing in its apprenticeship programme as part of future plans to enable the site to be considered as the UK’s Centre of Excellence for Rolling Stock Refurbishment, Service and Repair.

Liam is currently a member of the tram refurbishment team. He attends Reaseheath, in Nantwich, once a week to learn academic and practical skills and is supported by college assessors at his workplace as well as by his colleagues.

Presenting Liam with a trophy and certificate, Tony Webb said: “Apprentices are the future for engineering industries like ourselves. Bombardier is looking forward to a bright future, thanks to the predicted growth in the rail industry, and by investing in our apprenticeship programme we are ensuring that we have young, talented and skilled staff to provide workforce succession.

“Liam has shown real passion for the job and really wants to learn and get involved. He is exactly the sort of young person we need to attract into the industry. Reaseheath is an excellent training partner and delivers a training programme which suits our needs and aspirations.”

Liam added: “Becoming an apprentice has suited me very well because I like working practically and you pick up a lot of skills at your workplace. You get a lot of variety at Bombardier because you work on many different projects, and I also enjoy the classroom and workshop sessions at Reaseheath.”

Reaseheath assessor Trevor Palmer said: “Liam works hard and is extremely keen to learn. He will be a qualified engineer at the end of his programme and as such, will have an excellent future ahead of him. We were delighted to choose him as our Apprentice of the Year.”

Reaseheath College currently has 355 apprentices studying agriculture, animal care, construction, construction plant, engineering, food industry skills, horse care, horticulture, motor vehicle and sports turf.

Header caption: Liam Barnett receives his award fromTony Webb, watched by Bombardier Training Manager Mark Mackay, ReaseheathTraining Assessor Trevor Palmer, Training and Competence Assessor Russell Clarke and fellow apprentice engineers