AN apprentice from the Portsmouth base of defence firm BAE Systems has won a top award handed out by the firm nationally.
Sonny Wilson, 21, has been named BAE Systems Mechanical Apprentice of the Year at a ceremony in Manchester.
He impressed the judges by demonstrating a great passion for his trade and taking on additional responsibilities.
Receiving his award from Nigel Whitehead, group managing director – programmes and support, Sonny said: ‘I was very grateful to be nominated for this award and given the chance to present at the judging day in October.
‘To be put forward as the nominated apprentice from Maritime Services was an accolade in itself and winning the award above all of my peers across the whole of BAE Systems UK was overwhelming.’
Alongside the overall winner, a further 10 awards were given to apprentices across the UK company.
As reported previously in The News, shipbuilding in Portsmouth will be moving wholly to Scotland this year, but apprentices who are completing their training on that side of the business will be transferred to the firm’s ship maintenance division.
Nigel added: ‘The Apprentice Awards go from strength to strength: this year we also announced the 2013 winners of the Apprentice Innovation Challenge and once again, I was astounded by the quality of the designs and the inspiration of our apprentices.
‘The Apprentice Awards is my favourite event of the year.’
Sonny’s win came just a few days before BAE Systems Maritime Services apprentice Brandon Bowman, who was short-listed for the Technical Apprentice of the Year award at the BAE Systems Apprentice Awards, scooped the Apprentice of the Year award at The News’ own Business Excellence Awards.
Every year, BAE Systems invests more than £80m in the UK in education and schools activity, university partnerships and training and development for employees.
It has 800 apprentices in training at any one time.