Oliver Marsh, an apprentice with OnePlastics Group, who trained at the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre in both mechanical maintenance and manufacturing engineering, has been shortlisted in the Apprentice of the Year higher apprentice category of the awards.

The youngster, who works at OnePlastics’ state-of-the-art MGB Plastics factory in Rotherham, has already demonstrated his credentials, having already scooped a major industry award for getting council crest plate changes down to 34 seconds from 10 minutes, saving the company in excess of £137k a year in production process costs.

This work has no doubt helped earn him his place at the regional finals and he’ll find out whether he has won at a ceremony taking place in Leeds later this month.

Marsh, 22, said: “Having finished my apprenticeship in February, I feel very lucky to have been placed under great mentoring at MGB and I’m grateful for the opportunities they have given me throughout my apprenticeship.

“If I were to win the award, it would be a big complement to the skills and knowledge I have developed during my apprenticeship and will be a great foundation for furthering my career.”

Nikki Jones, director of the AMRC Training Centre, said Marsh is a very worthy finalist in the awards and a shining example of the success that can be achieved through apprenticeships.

“Oliver is one of our higher apprentices and an absolute credit to the AMRC Training Centre and to his company. During his apprenticeship, and beyond, he has displayed the right attitude, passion and commitment that companies are crying out for in manufacturing and engineering and being shortlisted at the regional finals of the National Apprentice Awards 2018 is testament to that.”

Ian Cosgrove, a training advisor for OnePlastics, says he is definitely a ‘rising star’, having won the British Plastics Federation Apprentice of the Year in 2017, and is delighted he has reached the regional finals of the national awards.

“The need to attract bright, enthusiastic youngsters into manufacturing has never been greater for OnePlastics as we continue to grow our business,” Cosgrove said.

“At our Rotherham site, MGB is the UK’s leading producer of wheelie bins, moulding more than 1.5 million units per year, and this figure is forecast to grow with the integration of cutting-edge automation and technology.

“This business growth can only be achieved by engaging a highly effective multi-disciplined team of well-trained engineers and technicians. As we all know, these people are extremely difficult to find. That is why OnePlastics has embraced the training levy programme and now has 18 apprentices, across a range of skills and ages, and we are committed to ‘growing our own’.”

Cosgrove praised the AMRC Training Centre’s commitment towards creating a pipeline into industry for future engineering and manufacturing talent.

He added: “MGB is extremely fortunate in having such a well-equipped and professional training provider on its doorstep. Working closely with the AMRC Training Centre, we developed Oliver’s higher-level programme, integrating a polymer diploma to run alongside his mechanical qualification.

“It was refreshing to work with a team with such a ‘can do’ attitude, an attribute that is often lacking in training providers who push a ‘one size fits all’ philosophy.”