As part of the Centenary Apprenticeship Campaign commemorating 100 years since the start of the First World War, employers working with apprentices were challenged to apply their skills to restoring a local landmark. Rolls Royce North East Training, who help run our apprentice training scheme together with The Port of Tyne, Michell Bearings and White Bros joined this campaign to challenge our apprentices to design and build a scale model of the Newcastle Swing Bridge!
The Swing Bridge is a local engineering marvel of its day, built in 1873 by Sir W.G. Armstrong & Co, whose Elswick Works earned Tyneside the reputation of being the ‘Workshop of the World’ and was central to the region’s developing heavy engineering and shipbuilding industries. It was a pleasure for us to be involved in commemorating the region’s history, and we’re rather proud of the result. Almost as good as the real thing?
Our work dovetailed in to a program of presentations and careers initiatives to encourage local young people to consider an engineering apprenticeship. The culmination of the program was an award ceremony in Newcastle followed by another national award ceremony in London on the HMS St. Albans on the River Thames in November, where our project was given second place. Congratulations to Chris Lister, our apprentice who took the lead on the project here at Whites.
It is hoped that these events will highlight the important role apprenticeships have played in the last 100 years and their increased importance in today’s economy. That’s a message we’re happy to support, and hope our own apprentices will generate another 100 years of successful White Bros history.