Wales-based JCB engineer Dan Biggs saw his career blossom following winning student and apprentice awards in 2014. As a STEM ambassador he is keen to encourage other young people to consider manufacturing as a choice career and recommends others follow in his footsteps in participating in the EEF Future Manufacturing Awards which brought him and his achievements to the attention of his company’s board.
Since winning then he has been awarded numerous qualifications including a first class honours degree in Industrial Engineering and Business Management through JCB, the same company where he got his foot in the door as an apprentice. He is now enjoying a sparkling career as a manufacturing engineer.
This is his story…
What was it like winning a Future Manufacturing Apprentice Award?
The whole experience was very exciting! It was an opportunity to reflect on my entire apprenticeship and showcase JCB and all of my training providers at the same time. When the award was announced there was a great sense of realisation that all the hard work had paid off. I was filled with immense pride, I had achieved the accolade not just for myself but for everyone who had contributed to my development up to that point.
What kind of recognition did you get from the award win?
The award definitely triggered a lot of positive recognition within JCB, within a month of winning I was asked to meet with the Chairman of JCB - to talk about the award and my work at the company and my future aspirations. Outside of JCB, articles about my achievements in trade and manufacturing magazines highlighted not only my accomplishments but the JCB apprenticeship and the company as a whole.
You are now a judge for the apprentice categories of the awards, what do you look for in the nominations?
I look for a real ambassador of the manufacturing sector, someone who can convey that they’re hardworking and have that ‘get up and go’ attitude with a general proactive personality. I look for someone who has a solid understanding of their industry their position within it and a passion for continuous improvement.
In particular nominees should be proud of their accomplishments and where possible quantify how their work and their input has made a difference to their business, industry or even the wider community.
What would you say to a company or apprentice thinking of entering in the apprentice categories?
Go ahead and do it! From an apprentices perspective it is a brilliant opportunity to gain recognition for their efforts, which will further set them aside and remain with them for the rest of their careers. From the perspective of the company, it is a great chance to promote their apprenticeship programme and their commitment to making the manufacturing industry a better place.
The EEF Awards close on 17 July 2017. Elevate your career by showcasing your achievements – enter today.