TWO young workers- say they have matured and learnt valuable practical skills whilst working for a Winsford company.

Jade Hawthorne, 18, is an engineering apprentice at Tiger Trailers and Ryan Dickens, 23, is a skilled assembly technician.

The pair, from Winsford, spoke about their training experiences to encourage other students to consider career choices during national apprentice week.

Jade joined the trailer and commercial vehicle body manufacturer last year after studying A levels at college.

She found that Tiger was a great place to try something different and that her open-mindedness and willingness to learn has enabled her to thrive.

Jade has been able to carry out a variety of tasks from building backframes to fitting shutters, loadlock and tensioners or buffers. Her favourite projects have been hands-on, practical jobs where she has been able to learn whilst doing and develop her problem-solving skills.

Jade said: “I get a lot of practical experience day to day which I wouldn’t be able to get if I took a different route. It’s more fun than being in a classroom!”

The support she received from colleagues, she says, has really helped her.

She has been able to develop relationships with her team whilst enhancing her career opportunities.

Jade said:“I’m the only woman in the workshop which puts me in a unique position but also means that there really ought to be more of us. Women are turning to these kinds of careers more and more but I’m looking forward to a day where the split is more equal."

Jade feels that her apprenticeship has benefitted her as a professional and as a person.

She has found enjoyment, confidence and an abundance of new skills.

Jade added:“I’m so different to how I was before the apprenticeship. I absolutely love what I’m doing and it’s a great stepping stone into the industry. I’d be interested in venturing into aeronautical engineering. I would never have thought of that before working here!”

Ryan started as a manufacturing engineering apprentice in 2015 and has mastered skills including piping and wiring, coach building, working on hydraulics and fitting tail lifts.

Ryan said: “My day to day work was monitored by my mentor,which was really useful as he could provide me with one-to-one feedback and push me out of my comfort zone.

"I gained skills I can transfer to other parts of the job, which is really valuable."

Ryan is proud to have won the Tiger Apprentice of the Year award. “I think the apprenticeship made me so much more versatile and adaptable, giving me the confidence to try new things," he said.

Following his apprenticeship, he has been now given the responsibility of training new members of the team, giving him further opportunity to develop his leadership and teamwork skills

“As an apprentice, you have to learn every part of the workshop. It’s made me so much more knowledgeable about the company and the wider industry. I find it easier to remember and learn all the new information as it’s right in front of me and very hands-on, rather than being in a book or online”.

Ryan hopes to progress within Tiger Trailers and become a team leader, supervising the hydraulics sector of the workshop.

His interest in hydraulics stemmed has developed from the experience he has gained over the past few years.

“I didn’t know what I’d want to specialise in before I began the apprenticeship," he said. "The wide range of sectors I was exposed to enabled me to work out what really interested me."