Stainless Metalcraft are proud sponsors of Fenland’s Apprentice of the Year award

Tristan Mee was last year's Apprentice of the Year

Tristan Mee was last year's Apprentice of the Year - Credit: Archant

The Apprentice of the Year award is in its fifth year having been introduced in 2011 in memory of Craig Bird who died in a car crash in 2010.

He was an apprentice at Metalcraft Ltd in Chatteris and this year the category is being sponsored by the firm.

Last year saw Tristan Mee from Worzals Restaurant at Wisbech collect the prize.

Judges said: “We chose Tristan as Apprentice of the Year because, not only is he studying for an apprenticeship himself, he is also excellent at promoting apprenticeships to others. The judges were particularly impressed with Tristan’s drive and determination to succeed.”

With apprenticeships a key focus for many businesses, the originally titled young apprentice award has evolved to include applicants of all ages.

To be considered for this category the applicants must show how they have exceeded expectations, how the apprenticeship has shaped their career, personal life, confidence and self-esteem and any obstacles the person has had to over come.

Sponsors Metalcraft enjoy a rich heritage in the design and manufacture of high integrity, mission critical equipment for a variety of highly-regulated industries, such as medical technologies, energy and nuclear power.

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Founded in Chatteris in the early 1890s, the business has an excellent reputation for working with customers to develop ground-breaking technologies, producing components for a number of prestigious projects including the world’s first clinical MRI systems, the Large Hadron Collider in Cern, the world’s first integrated MRI/radiotherapy equipment and the world’s largest commercial fuel cell.

While our customer base is spread throughout the UK, Europe and worldwide, the business relies heavily on the Fenland area for the recruitment of local talent and is proud to be celebrating the 100th anniversary of its own apprenticeship programme during 2016.

At Metalcraft, we strongly believe in apprenticeships as a pathway to career success: Over 50% of our current employees trained at our Chatteris site while our Managing Director began his own career as an apprentice too.

As part of the 100th anniversary celebrations, we are delighted to have recruited our largest intake of new apprentices in a generation, all of which are currently training at our on-site academy, the Fenland Engineering Skills Centre.

The first-class training we provide follows the principles of traditional engineering apprenticeships, ensuring all apprentices develop a hands-on understanding of manufacturing and engineering, as well as the broader skills they need to build rewarding, long-term careers in the industry.

2015 was a great year for Metalcraft, securing a number of award wins and, more importantly, the largest order in living memory – a 10 year, £50 million contract to manufacture over 1,100 nuclear waste containers to safely decommission legacy nuclear waste at Sellafield. But this contract is just the beginning. We expect it to form the cornerstone of what should be an exciting period of growth for the business and, with that growth, comes the need for skilled workers to deliver these programmes.

Investing in skills and training is essential to the future of both our own business and the wider Fenland economy. That’s why we’re delighted to be sponsoring the Apprentice of the Year category at this year’s Fenland Business Awards.

Gearing up for the 8th annual Fenland Enterprise Business Awards, we are offering businesses a chance to hear from previous winners and learn about the entry process. Some come participate in our networking event, meet some of our sponsors and judges, and network established and budding companies in Fenland.

The event will take place on Tuesday June 7 from 4.30pm to 6.45pm at The Boathouse Business Centre, 1 Harbour Square, Wisbech, PE13 3BH. Free to attend register for your tickets on