Innovation, passion and bringing fresh thinking into the workplace are some of the qualities that won Shivan Morkar the honour of being named ‘Apprentice of the Year’ at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) Training Centre annual awards ceremony.

The event, supported by Siemens and set against the stunning backdrop of the University of Sheffield’s Firth Court Hall on March 1, is now in its fifth year, attracting the great and good from industry, business and public office across the Sheffield City Region and beyond.

Look North presenter Harry Gration was host for the evening and among the guests were Rt Hon Lord David Blunkett, the Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire Andrew Coombe, Mistress Cutler Liz Cragg, Brian Holliday, managing director for Siemens Digital Factory and Nuclear AMRC research engineer and Great British Bake Off winner, Dr Rahul Mandal.

As part of the prize for winning the Siemens-sponsored ‘Apprentice of the Year 2019’ award, Shivan, a CNC machinist for William Cook Rail in Leeds, will travel to Germany to visit Siemens’ award-winning Industry 4.0 Smart Factory in Amberg.

All smiles: Look North presenter and ceremony host for the evening Harry Gration with the overall Apprentice of the Year winner Shivan Morkar and Brian Holliday, managing director for Siemens Digital Factory.
All smiles: Look North presenter and ceremony host for the evening Harry Gration with the overall Apprentice of the Year winner Shivan Morkar and Brian Holliday, managing director for Siemens Digital Factory.

Nominations for the annual awards are made by employers and trainers to recognise the achievement or contribution apprentices have made to industry, and are judged by a panel of AMRC Training Centre staff and award sponsors.

This year, the judges said they had been overwhelmed by Shivan’s enthusiasm and passion for industry, the positive impact he’s had on his workplace, and that he has become an inspiration for other apprentices and work colleagues around him.

On accepting the award, Shivan, who is in the first year of his degree apprenticeship, said the win is a massive boost in confidence and ‘a great feeling’ knowing his hard work has earned him such recognition.

He said: “This means everything to me. I wasn’t expecting it at all – thank you to everyone who has supported to me. That support has been very important, it has pushed and helped me to do to more and keep on progressing.”

Shivan, of Bradford, said one of the main highlights of his year was being given the opportunity to go to a McLaren Automotive press conference announcing its partnership with the AMRC because he got to sit inside three of their impressive supercars. Another high note was being involved in a project where he had to work with a company to manufacture a team of table top football players – all while still in his early days of learning about CNC machining.

Phil Mosley, machine shop manager at William Cook Rail, was at the awards ceremony to see Shivan lift the trophy.

“It is very well deserved. Shivan’s hard work, effort and motivation are unbelievable and just for him to take it to the level he has, getting his Level 3 so far ahead of schedule, shows every bit of enthusiasm and that he is keen to learn,” he said. “Shivan has a very bright future ahead of him and will go all the way.”

Talented bunch: The 2019 AMRC Training Centre Apprentice of the Year award winners.
Talented bunch: The 2019 AMRC Training Centre Apprentice of the Year award winners.

Other winners at this year’s awards were:

  • Technical Support: Katy Foster of Vector X-Cel, sponsored by the MTA;
  • Fabrication and Welding: Matthew Robert Wogan of Charles Thompson, sponsored by the AMRC;
  • Maintenance: Alex Bywater of Beatson Clark, sponsored by Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence;
  • Machining: Shivan Morkar of William Cook Rail, sponsored by Sandvik Coromant;
  • First Year: Joel Jason Knowles of Boeing Sheffield, sponsored by Hallam FM;
  • HNC Achiever: Michael Buchanan of Inductelec, sponsored by SIV;
  • Degree Graduate: Joshua Thomas Parkin of Bifrangi, sponsored by Close Brothers;
  • Siddall Achievement Award: Mary Stickland of Pryor Marking Technology, supported by Dr Graham Siddall;
  • Siddall Achievement Award: Craig Horton of Technicut, supported by Dr Graham Siddall.

Outstanding contribution awards sponsored by the AMRC Training Centre were given to lecturer Itai Vutabwarova for the impact his teaching has had on apprentices’ achievements, and to Sarah Hudson for ‘going above and beyond’ in her support staff duties, giving invaluable support to the centre.