Jonathan Elley, an apprentice with GE Aviation Wales, scooped both the Wales and the overall honour for Outstanding Achievement by a First Year Apprentice in the 2015 Future Manufacturing Awards. Since then, he has received recognition from senior executives across the GE Aviation group, and also received letters from senior Welsh officials, include the Welsh secretary Stephen Crabb, the Welsh First Ministry Carwyn Jones and a number of local MPs.
Describing the level of recognition as “surreal,” Jonathan says:
“I truly appreciated this support and recognition as I never thought that I would have received it. It just goes to show how prestigious the EEF Awards are.”
GE Aviation Wales specialises in the overhaul, repair and maintenance of commercial jet engines for over 90 customers worldwide. They employ over 80 apprentices, including Jonathan who has already gained an excellent reputation among both his peers and senior engineers for his academic achievements and high professional standard of engineering work. As a first year apprentice, Jonathan has been praised too for the relationship he has developed with his year group, of which he is a respected team leader.
"A confident, passionate apprentice with a mature and clear approach to his development and career path. He recognised the importance and contribution of those around him who are supporting him in his professional development, creating an environment in which he has thrived and continues to stretch the boundaries of his potential."
Jonathan was selected by his company to apply for the first year apprentice award in 2015, and he took the same methodical, dedicated approach to his entry that he is already admired for in his apprentice role. He describes the process as exciting and testing, saying it “really is designed to get the best out of you as an engineer and person.”
“I was supported vigorously by the EEF team throughout the process and they made things very simple to understand. I urge every person who is put forward for these awards to give it their best shot and to commit to the process fully, the rewards are plenty and opportunities like this don't come around often, grasp it with both hands!”
For Jonathan, winning the award means more than just the recognition:
“Having won the title, it has put me in an incredible position to take my career to the next level once I have completed my apprenticeship as an Aeronautical Engineer. These awards have opened up a lot of doors that would not have been possible if I hadn't of been selected to apply so for that I am thankful to my company for deeming me suitable for the EEF Awards.”
The EEF Future Manufacturing Awards is the most prestigious and respected industry recognition programme in the UK. The Awards are free-to-enter and open to all manufacturing organisations. Judged regionally and nationally by independent industry experts and peers, they are the most established and respected of their kind - giving real recognition to those that demonstrate a commitment to the future of UK manufacturing. View the 2016 categories.