Owen Mumford employee Mark Williams is finalist at Apprentice of the Year 2014

Owen Mumford receiving his Finalist award from presenter Jason Bradbury

Owen Mumford receiving his Finalist award from presenter Jason Bradbury - Credit: Archant

Mark Williams, an employee at Owen Mumford, attended the Finals for Apprentice of the Year at The Manufacturer Awards held at the ICC in Birmingham.

The awards, sponsored by The Manufacturer magazine celebrate industry achievement and highlight the important role UK manufacturing plays in today’s economy.

The Apprentice of the Year category was looking for someone who had made an outstanding contribution to the workplace and achieved exceptional progress both in skills development and their college studies. There were no age restrictions for the category and this allowed Owen Mumford to take the unusual step of nominating a “mature” apprentice, Mark Williams.

Mark (41) started an apprenticeship at the age of 38 to develop and extend his skill base as a way of opening up new job opportunities within Owen Mumford. The Engineering apprenticeship came about when Paschal Doyle (Operations Technical Manager) noticed Mark’s potential and suggested it as an option for Mark to consider. Mark needed little persuasion. He enrolled at college and became a mature student for nine months.

Balancing family life with studying Health & Safety, Maths and English alongside machine, electrical and manual engineering skills, was definitely a challenge but Mark wasn’t deterred. He went on to pass his college exams with flying colours and the following year, joined the Tooling department at Owen Mumford’s Woodstock site where he began learning about injection moulding tools as well attending college once a week. He completed his course in June 2013.

Mark said of being shortlisted for Apprentice of the Year, “I was thrilled to even be nominated and so being shortlisted came as a nice surprise. When I look back at the last three years, I am really pleased that I took up this opportunity from Owen Mumford and would definitely encourage others to do the same. It’s not been easy as it was so much more than a 9-5 commitment but like anything in life, you get out what you put in. My personal confidence has increased and I feel I have a bright future but most importantly, I have a son who looks up to me and I feel that I can offer him inspiration. You never know, if he achieves the right grades at school he may also be lucky enough to be offered an apprenticeship at Owen Mumford. I hope so.”

Paschal Doyle, Operations Technical Manager said, “We have been very impressed by Mark’s achievement and commitment to the apprenticeship scheme. Owen Mumford is keen to invest in associates with potential and the determination to succeed and Mark is an excellent example of someone who has made the most of the opportunity offered. On behalf of Owen Mumford, I’d like to congratulate Mark and we hope to see other apprentices follow in his success.”