A former MG Rover apprentice has bounced back from the Longbridge closure to be named this year's Engineering Employers Federation West Midlands Engineering Apprentice of the Year.
Jamie Bright, aged 24, from Shard End in Birmingham, was the only apprentice to respond to an appeal by Cadbury Trebor Bassett for former MG Rover apprentices.
This appeal came when Amicus trade union members voted to sacrifice part of their salary each month to enable former MG Rover apprentices to complete their training with Cadbury.
Jamie was presented with the Final Year Apprentice of the Year Award during a celebratory dinner, attended by over 300 people at Birmingham International Convention Centre.
He said: "When the closure of MG Rover was announced, I genuinely feared that I had lost my opportunity to finish my studies, and get the job I wanted.
"Thankfully, due to the generosity of the technicians at Cadbury’s who donated part of their salary, I was able to finish my apprenticeship.
"I have tried to repay my fellow colleagues and the company during the last 12 months by making that extra effort and be the best apprentice I could be. I think winning this award is a great way of thanking them for all they have done for me."
Jamie was recognised for his work made a significant contribution to reducing downtime at one of Cadbury’s plants by leading an improvement project on a plant cooling system.
The project has delivered significant cost savings for the business.
Jamie has now been offered a permanent role as one of only five multi-skilled technicians working on the flagship new manufacturing plant that has just been installed in Bournville.
The overall winner of the First Year Apprentice award category went to 18-year-old Aaron Taylor who works for Denso Manufacturing UK in Telford, for his efforts in the refurbishing the company's technical training centre.