Two engineering apprentices in Wales score success at manufacturing awards, Make UK

Two FSG Tool and Die engineering apprentices training with TSW Training Apprenticeships and University of Wales Trinity St Davids were crowned Engineering Apprentice Of The Year and Runner-Up Engineering Rising Star at 2021 manufacturing awards, Make UK.

The Make UK Manufacturing Awards announced its winners in Wales last week and highlight the resilience, determination, and ingenuity of the UK’s manufacturing community. It has five categories in which apprentices from all over Wales and England can compete.

Its Engineering Apprentice of the Year Award for Wales, and the Runner-Up Engineering Rising Star Award for Wales, were awarded to two FSG engineers.

Newly qualified engineer, Max James, took home Apprentice Of The Year, and Kodie Higgins, who is due to complete his fast-track apprenticeship in two years, was Runner-Up Rising Star.

The Engineering Rising Star Award celebrates apprentices who seize ‘the training and development opportunities presented to them during the early years of their engineering apprenticeship programme,’ celebrated for making a ‘significant contribution to support the activities of their employer.’

The Engineering Of The Year Award goes beyond the Rising Star criteria, acknowledging the time an apprentice spends ‘develop(ing) and widen(ing) their capabilities beyond the scope of the apprenticeship, for example, becoming an ambassador for community or campaigning work.’


Meet Engineering Apprentice of the Year in Wales, Max James

Engineering Apprentice of The Year in Wales, Max James completed his Level 3 Apprenticeship in Engineering Manufacturing while working at FSG Tool and Die, with TSW Training Apprenticeships and University of Wales Trinity St Davids delivering and awarding his qualifications. He’s employed full time as a Precision Grinder (surface and cylindrical).

He was expected to complete his apprenticeship in July 2022, but finished a year ahead of schedule in June 2021. His commitment to the qualification was stand out, and the abilities he demonstrated throughout showed skill and promise.

Runner-Up Engineering Rising Star, Kodie Higgins, is on a fast-track apprenticeship with FSG, and on-track to complete his apprenticeship in two years’ time. He is working un-supervised in CNC turning on 5axis Intrgerex and 3axis quick-turn.

Kodie is already an established name in manufacturing competitions. Already this year, Kodie has won Gold in the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Milling category at Skills Competition Wales. He is also a finalist at WorldSkills UK, where he will hope to bring home another title later in November.


Raising the skill standard in Wales

TSW’s Engineering Route Manager, John Moulton mentored both Max and Kodie through their Engineering apprenticeships. “Their capabilities, work ethic and ability to handle the pressure of competition, and succeed, is something every apprentice should aspire to,” he said.

“Max completed his apprenticeship ahead of schedule while maintaining high-quality work. He is an ambassador for engineering, without a doubt, and thoroughly deserving of the Apprentice Of The Year title. I have no doubt Kodie will be hot on his heels in that category when he completes his qualifications. Both apprentices excel in every respect and will raise and contribute to an exemplary quality of engineering in Wales.”

Read more about Max James and Kodie Higgins: