HRH Princess Anne honours 'homegrown talent' as she meets apprentices at Stainless Metalcraft in Chatteris
PUBLISHED: 16:57 29 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:57 29 March 2019
Celebrating homegrown talent was the message as HRH Princess Anne made a royal visit to meet apprentices and unveil a plaque at Stainless Metalcraft.
Landing at Cromwell Community College by helicopter HRH was greeted by dozens of local school children from Kingsfield Primary School and Cromwell.
She then met the Metalcraft leadership team and civic dignitaries and spoke to apprentices at the Chatteris-based manufacturing company.
Smiling, joking and asking questions throughout, HRH was taken on a tour of the workshop and watched a demonstration of robotic welding.
She also visited the medical technology building, where Metalcraft manufacture MRI scan machines, before observing school children taking part in an engineering activity supported by Metalcraft apprentices.
HRH Princess Anne then unveiled a plaque to commemorate to mark the full production launch of the high integrity container manufacturing facility.
She said: “There’s a lot to celebrate here - especially the homegrown talent - but it’s nice to put it all together.
“The 100 years of apprentice training is the most crucial part of what Metalcraft do, but it’s also translated into major successes for this company.
“It would be too simplistic to say you can’t have one without the other, but it’s made an enormous difference.
“And I’m delighted that you have one young lady apprentice – and with my wise hat on, I would like to encourage more women to join.”
Austen Adams, managing director of Metalcraft, said: “”We’re very proud of our people and to be celebrating 100 years of apprentice training; just a few months ago we celebrated our 500th apprentice and 40 years of the continuous manufacture of MRI systems.
“And more recently, we’ve begun a project to manufacture a facility to produce containers to store waste for Sallafield for the next 500 years.”
“We contacted the Royal Office to make HRH Princess Anne aware of the milestones and invited her to come and meet all of our employees, the local community and civic dignitaries.”
Daniel Lynch, who was named apprentice of the year at the SME National Business Awards in December 2018, spoke to HRH Princess Anne.
He said: “I’m heavily involved in the robotics side of the latest 3M3 nuclear box project for Sallafield. I think it’s good for the town as well as the company because it raises the profile and let’s everyone know that we are actually here.
“It raises the profile; not many people know what we actually do and how important it is.”
During the visit HRH Princess Anne, who was accompanied by her Lady In Waiting and Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire Julie Spence, met recipients of the Metalcraft Community Fund which supports local good causes including Chatteris Tennis Club, Benwick in Bloom, Doddington Women’s Institute.
Before leaving the town and heading to Huntingdon for her next royal engagement, she received a posy of flowers from Kingsfield pupil Kyala Hay.
Metalcraft recruits up to 10 apprentices each year. It celebrated the 100th anniversary of its apprenticeship scheme in 2016 and took on its 500th apprentice in 2018.
For further information about apprenticeships at Stainless Metalcraft, visit www.metalcraft.co.uk/careers/apprenticeships