North East success at “Apprenticeship Oscars”

Eden McGlen and Ian Green
December 8, 2021

An engineer who has dedicated his career to producing some of the region’s best apprenticeship talent has been named National Apprenticeship Champion 2021.

Ian Green, Senior Controller and Section Manager at Nissan’s Global Training Centre and Skills Foundation at Nissan Motor Corporation, was named national champion at the event, hosted by the Department for Education.

In a fantastic year for North East participants, Unipres UK maintenance technician, Eden McGlen claimed a Highly Commended in the Advanced Apprentice of the Year; Rolls-Royce Manufacturing Engineering Degree Apprentice, Kate Todd-Davis was Highly Commended in Degree Apprentice of the Year; and McCarrick Construction scooped a Highly Commended in the Chartered Institute for IT Award for SME Employer of the Year.

All Apprenticeship Ambassadors, the winners were honoured at an event organised by the North East Apprenticeship Ambassador Network (NEAAN), at Durham County Cricket Club’s Emirates Riverside Ground.

Ian, who has worked at Nissan’s Sunderland plant for over 30 years, is also heavily involved in promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and manufacturing) subjects and was named regional apprenticeship champion last month.

A regular visitor to schools to inspire children to take a greater interest in STEM subjects before they reach secondary schools, his work has helped engage hundreds of schools and thousands of young people in the apprenticeship agenda every year.

A former apprentice himself, Ian said:

“This is an incredibly proud moment for me and I’m incredibly humbled to be named National Apprenticeship Champion 2021.

“I have always believed apprenticeships can be the gateway to not just jobs but phenomenal careers. They are the perfect entry point into work and industry for people, providing on the job learning and the ability to draw experience from peers. And they are ideal for businesses, allowing firms to recruit and shape their workforce of the future and ensure employees’ experience and ability grows with the company.”

A key member of Nissan’s HR team, Ian’s passion was born from his own apprenticeship, and he remains a huge advocate of the model, working regionally and nationally to help drive up participation. Recently, Ian chaired the creation of a new Level 2 standard and contributed to a wide range of new standards through the Automotive Trailblazer group.

The National Apprenticeship Awards shine a spotlight on business and individual success and how apprenticeships boost business success and lead to dream careers.

“It was an amazing night and a really proud moment for me,” said Eden. “It’s a fantastic achievement and I’m really grateful for all the support I’ve received from the North East Apprenticeship Ambassador Network and the team at Unipres.

“Now that I have completed my apprenticeship, my plan is to go onto a foundation degree apprenticeship, but also continue working with all of the apprentices coming into Unipres and helping them have a similarly positive experience.”

Kate said:

“It was a massive honour to get this award and it’s really testament to the fantastic apprenticeship programme at Rolls-Royce and all of my trainers. A lot of hard work went into my degree and the Highly Commended is a fantastic award for the effort that went into that qualification.”

NEAAN Chair, George Ritchie MBE, said:

“This was a fantastic year for the North East at these prestigious national honours. Ian is an absolute credit to Nissan and the apprenticeship agenda and I couldn’t think of a more worthy winner of this title, that marks him out as a genuine UK leader in the field.

“If Eden and Kate represent our industrial future, then the future is looking bright. Both are so dedicated, talented, focused and driven and I know they are destined for great things at their companies.

“After 20 months without a face to face meeting, it was great to host our Apprenticeship Ambassadors and celebrate the success of Ian, Eden, Kate and McCarrick Construction. It was the perfect way to round off a great year for North East apprentices.”

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