“Exemplary” Shane proves up to the challenge with Tata Steel
Engineering apprentice Shane Ash is using his training and skills to save his employer, Tata Steel, time and money.
Shane, 26, from Risca, has already identified changes that saved more than £22,000 when managing a major project to manufacture and install a coil transfer car. He regularly works overtime to ensure projects are completed on time.
He is now in the design phase of introducing a drossing robot to improve speed and health and safety on the galvanising line at Llanwern steelworks, after spotting the robot’s potential during a work placement in Holland. When installed, a robotic arm will remove impurities from molten zinc during the galvanising process.
Now Shane has been shortlisted for the Higher Apprentice of the Year Award at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, the annual celebration of outstanding achievement in training and apprenticeships.
Thirty-four finalists in a dozen categories are in the running for the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, which will be presented at a high-profile ceremony at the new International Convention Centre Wales, Newport, on October 24.
The awards showcase the successes of the best learners, employers, tutors and assessors in Wales who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeship and Apprenticeship programmes.
Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru has Openreach, the UK’s digital network business, as its premier sponsor this year. The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
Shane is totally focused on becoming a chartered engineer. He has completed an Apprenticeship in Engineering Manufacture (Engineering Maintenance) and a HNC and a HND in Mechanical Engineering, is working towards a Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4) in Mechanical Engineering and has enrolled on BSc degree course in Mechanical Engineering.
Other qualifications achieved include a Level 4 Process Evolution in the Steel Industry and IOSH Managing Safely. The degree is through the University of South Wales, where Shane also achieved his HND as part of a Bridgend College Higher Apprenticeship programme, delivered in partnership with Coleg Gwent.
Llanwern steelworks’ ambassador for Magnet, Tata Steel Europe’s young professional organisation, Shane was named Tata Steel (Llanwern) Mechanical Apprentice of the Year for outstanding performance and Coleg Gwent’s Engineering Apprentice of the Year, both in 2016.
“The personal progress I have made because of my apprenticeship is more than I could have hoped for,” said Shane. “Being so keen about progressing and learning to be the best I can be, I am always striving to challenge myself to gain as much experience as possible.”
Jon Matthews, Tata Steel’s central engineering manager at Llanwern, praised Shane’s “exemplary” attitude. “I cannot speak highly enough about Shane, who will be a key asset in our company’s future growth in talent,” he said.
Minister for the Economy and Transport, Ken Skates, congratulated Shane and all the other shortlisted finalists.
“Our Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship and Traineeship programmes are helping increasing numbers of people to gain the skills and experience that we know businesses across all sectors of the economy in Wales really need,” he said.
“The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate and showcase the achievements of everyone involved in those programmes from our star apprentices and employers, to learning providers and trainees.”