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Veteran AWE apprentices are helping to inspire the next generation of school leavers on the merits of apprenticeships ahead of National Apprenticeship Week.
Yesterday (March 8th) nearly 50 ex-AWE apprentices took a walk-down memory-lane by coming to where they started their careers as young men in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s.
The men visited workshops at the AWE Skills Academy, which haven’t changed very much since they trained as apprentices except for the technology.
In an auditorium the men watched a 1954 recruitment video, which some of them starred in. The video advertised, ‘Great opportunities at Aldermaston for apprentices’.
In the 50’s and 60’s apprentices at AWE had the option to board close to the site and many built up lasting friendships.
Former AWE apprentice Paul Harvey who joined the scheme in 1958 and was a former Chairman of the AWE Apprenticeship Association said: "My career started at AWE. It was the best start I could have had and set me up for a very successful future career in the pharmaceutical industry."
Norman Apperley an electrical engineering apprentice between 1959 and 64 realised he wanted to work with computers whilst at AWE and following his apprenticeship he spent the rest of his career at a leading pc manufacture. He said:
"The AWE apprenticeship was very good and varied and taught me very early on about the importance of computers. I could tell even then that computers were the future thanks to AWE."
The modern AWE apprenticeship scheme has been running for nearly 65 years and 11% of the workforce are ex-apprentices. The scheme typically recruits 45 new apprentices each year between November and January. For more information about the AWE apprenticeship scheme go to www.AWE.co.uk