Hartlepool apprentice wins top award in prestigious London ceremony

An engineering apprentice is celebrating his successes after winning a top award in London for his contribution to the company.

Sam Casey, an apprentice at automobile manufacturer Gestamp Tallent and a student at Hartlepool College of Further Education, has been awarded the Worshipful Company of Needlemakers Prize for excelling in his field.

The 19-year-old received the award in London from Lord Mayor Nicholas Lyons and Master John Mill, of the Worshipful Company of Needlemakers.

Sam, a former English Martyrs School pupil, said: “To be in the centre of London in such nice surroundings picking up an award was a fantastic experience. It was completely different to anything I had done before.”

He added: “I was very proud, and it was a nice moment for me, the college, Gestamp and my family.”

Gary Riches, assistant principal at Hartlepool College of Further Education, said: “It is a prestigious award ceremony and the first time a Hartlepool College student has won an award at this event.

“It is a fantastic achievement and he has done extremely well to consistently reach high achievements both academically and practically across a three-year period.”

Mark Heslop, Gestamp’s apprentice coordinator, said: “Sam has a great attitude to work and is very determined to do the best he possibly can, all the time.”

Sam was complimented on his attention to detail and standard of work, with his logbooks a particular area of success.

Michael Greener, tool room manager at Gestamp, which is based in Newton Aycliffe, added: “We are always proud to see our apprentices receive an accolade but for Sam to be awarded this prestigious award at such a high profile event is one of our proudest moments.

“Sam has worked extremely hard from day one. He makes things look easy. However, that is down to his complete commitment and focus.

“His thirst for knowledge and attention to detail are exceptional.

“The close relationship between Gestamp and Hartlepool College means we can be open and honest about what we as the employer want from our apprentices/students.”

Sam hopes to progress in his field by getting a degree so that he can move onto becoming a fully-qualified engineer.