Apprentice of the Year accolade for Bobby

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Apprentice Bobby Duff, 17, has received the accolade of Apprentice of the Year at the Houses of Parliament after fighting off nationwide opposition from his peers in the competition organised by Group Training Associations, England.

Bobby joined Leighton Buzzard-based British Converting Solutions (BCS) in October 2013, as an Intermediate Apprenticeship in Business and Administration. He showed great promise from the start, and Simon Penwright, operations director at the Youngs Industrial Estate, Stanbridge Road business, recognised his potential.

He said: “BCS believe in investing time and resources into our apprentices, and we monitor their performance closely. We discuss their progress with them regularly and encourage them to fulfil their potential.

“If an apprentice shows flair in a particular field we can adjust their training programme accordingly, and add specific, relevant modules.

“Bobby demonstrated his aptitude and ambition to succeed within weeks of joining us. A year on, he organises and holds supplier meetings, controls our manufacturing software, and is currently processing £1.7 million of purchased product per annum.”

BCS is the only British manufacturer of box making, box folding and gluing machines, which are exported all around the world. Continuous research and development to improve the efficiency of its machines requires innovation and highly skilled engineers and designers.

The company currently employs seven apprentices, and considers apprenticeships to be the best way to ensure a dedicated, appropriately trained workforce. BCS utilises the services of Thames Valley training provider ATG Training to find suitable applicants, and to provide training modules at its Aylesbury-based training centre.

On his apprenticeship Bobby said: “My apprenticeship has really given me a good understanding of how hard work, motivation, and ambition can lead you into a great career.”

Now a national award winner, Bobby wants to share his experiences with others and is hoping to visit his secondary school to give a presentation about apprenticeships. He also wants to mentor future apprentices, as well as continuing build his career at British Converting Solutions.