Portsmouth apprentices scoop top prizes at BAE Systems awards

Ben Icke, the Craft Mechanical Apprentice of the Year Picture: Mike Lawrence/Steel Orchid
Ben Icke, the Craft Mechanical Apprentice of the Year Picture: Mike Lawrence/Steel Orchid

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APPRENTICES working for a defence firm in Portsmouth have scooped top gongs at a national industry awards night.

Ben Icke and Cameron Kirkland, apprentices from BAE Systems’ base in the city, have been named Craft Mechanical Apprentice of the Year and Technical Engineering Apprentice of the Year respectively at the company’s UK awards do.

Cameron Kirkland, the Technical Engineering Apprentice of the Year 
 Picture: Mike Lawrence/Steel Orchid

Cameron Kirkland, the Technical Engineering Apprentice of the Year Picture: Mike Lawrence/Steel Orchid

The pair saw off competition from 2,036 other apprentices to win the titles.

Ben, 22, who works for BAE Systems’ maritime services business, impressed the judges with his continued progression and professionalism, which included taking part in the firm’s Apprentice Innovation Challenge last year.

Cameron, 23, who works for BAE Systems’ naval ships, was praised for his outstanding work ethic and his support for the company’s work with schools.

Ben said he has ‘thoroughly enjoyed’ his time at BAE Systems and hopes to work for the firm full-time, while Cameron added: ‘Winning the Technical Engineering Apprentice of the Year Award is fantastic. My apprenticeship has taken me straight from sixth form and given me a skill set which has enabled me to join an advanced engineering team.’

BAE Systems is this year recruiting 47 apprentices to join the company and work at Portsmouth Naval Base from September.