20 November 2014
Jade Aspinall has been announced as the winner of the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Apprentice of the Year, a prize which is part of a set of awards which seek to recognise the best and the brightest apprentices and technicians. Jade, who lives in Manchester, received her prize at a prestigious Awards ceremony hosted by science presenter, Steve Mould, on 19 November in London.
Jade is an apprentice at MBDA UK, a missile developer and manufacturer. When she started working as a Manufacturing Engineer, her first responsibility was to work on a Brimstone radar seeker attrition project. Brimstone is an air-launched ground attack missile developed by MBDA specifically for Britain's Royal Air Force.
After this, Jade worked with a Principal Engineer to create a training module for new starters and other apprentices which allowed them to understand the assembly, engineering and logistics processes behind the build of a Brimstone Seeker. The development of this project has meant that MBDA has been able to save both time and money.
Jade has also given promotional and motivational speeches at numerous events on the importance of women in engineering and has promoted engineering to young people, employers, parents and MPs. This award is by no means Jade’s first prize - she has already been named SEMTA Skills National Apprentice of the Year and Best of British Engineering Winner.
The award is part of the IET’s Apprentice and Technician Awards scheme. The scheme aims to raise the profile of the good work that apprentices and technicians contribute to engineering businesses.
As IET Apprentice of the Year, Jade has won a £1,000 prize, two years’ free membership of the IET and payment of her professional registration fees.
William Webb, IET President, said: “Jade should be very proud to have been named IET Apprentice of the Year. The award recognises that she is one of the most exceptional young individuals working in her field.
“Apprentices and technicians are essential to the success of engineering companies, but rarely receive accolades for their contribution to that success. These awards provide an opportunity for all in the profession to celebrate the best apprentices and technicians.”
Of her win, Jade has said: “It’s amazing to have been chosen as the IET Apprentice of the Year 2014. I am very grateful for the support I have had throughout my apprenticeship and I’m hopeful that this win will encourage other young people to start a career in engineering.”
The Apprentice and Technician Awards are part of the IET’s Inspiring Engineering Excellence Awards Series, which this year provided over £1million in awards, prizes and scholarships to celebrate excellence and research in the sector and encourage the next generation of engineers and technicians. All IET awards seek to inspire engineering excellence, including apprentices at the start of their careers, through to fully established professional engineers and technicians.
A spokesperson from GCHQ, which is a sponsor of the IET Achievement awards programme and ceremony said: “The IET Apprentice and Technician Awards scheme is a particularly special scheme because it acknowledges the significant impact that young people are having on engineering businesses through boosting productivity and enhancing the skills base. Apprenticeships in particular are a genuine alternative to University education and lead to just as rewarding career path."