Blackrow Engineering apprentice Chris Hodge has been rewarded by his employer, after making his mark on a local and national level.

Celebrated at the recent Heta annual awards evening, featured in Business Telegraph last month, the sheet metal worker has this year also participated in WorldSkills UK in Birmingham.

And his impressive achievements in 2017 have been recognised with a gift of tools from the directors, from Grimsby Transmission Company.

Having just entered his second year, he won the overall fabrication award with the Catch-based organisation at Stallingborough, before heading down to the West Midlands for the event in which the South Bank excels.

The 17-year-old joined Blackrow from St Bede’s, and travels in daily to the South Humberside Industrial Estate base from Scunthorpe.

He said: “I’m really enjoying it, and the company looks after you, and ensures you are doing well. 

“It was great to go and compete in the British final, although I was up against people who had entered previously.”

It was a valuable experience though, and he was pleased to bring it back to Blackrow, where he is now learning his trade, having completed the education phase.

“I knew Blackrow was a sponsor with Heta, but at first I didn’t know much more. 

“The work is varied, and the training is always different and interesting.

“I am looking forward to going out on site with the teams, and I hope to do my HNC and HND too.” 

Chris Marfleet, sales director and co-owner, said there was a strong culture of apprentices rising through the ranks, and it was a strong ethos of the company in times when it is difficult to recruit talent.

“We are really proud of Chris,” he said. “We invest more in apprentices than most in this town, and we tend to keep them as well. It is important to bring on apprentices, It is hard to attract people, and we could do with more sheet metal workers and more semi-skilled guys for our sheet metal work. There are certainly job opportunities here.”