Apprentice meets defence secretary

A Furness College apprentice had the chance to meet the defence secretary when he visited Barrow this week.

Mark Harrison, who is a technical author apprentice at Allan Webb Ltd, was presented to Secretary of State for Defence, Sir Michael Fallon, at the company offices at Craven House.

Mark said the minister had been interested in his progression path to his apprenticeship and spent some time finding out about his job and what he enjoyed.

“He was very friendly and interested in what I do here and how it was going. He asked about school and what made me take this job,” he said. “He wanted to know what I said to my friends about my apprenticeship and I said I don’t count myself as an apprentice because they don’t treat me any differently to any other member of the team.”

Mark said at school he hadn’t really considered further education before but was enjoying the mix of earning and learning through his apprenticeship. “I never thought further education was for me but I knew this area needs engineers and the technical author apprenticeship came up. It is a nice relaxed environment and I get along with everybody really well,” he said.

Through my apprenticeship I’m learning how to do the job as well as going to college and getting my NVQ qualifications.”

Director of Curriculum, Technical and Adult Learning Steve McAloone attended the visit to Allan Webb Ltd, which is a specialist in defence technical documentation and supportability engineering. He said: “Mark is a conscientious and motivated student and having spent a few hours with him in the office it’s clear he is a valued member of the team.

“He was taken on ten months ago and while he is currently the only apprentice at Allan Webb at the moment they have been so impressed they are considering taking on two more.”

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