Forgemasters’ apprentice gains national commendation

A Sheffield Forgemasters’ apprentice has taken runners up place in a renowned industry prize for the second year running.

Eighteen year old Bradley McDonald, apprentice metallurgist and forge estimator at Sheffield Forgemasters achieved second place in the IOM3 Technician of the Year award.

Each year, the institute makes two awards for the Technician of the Year. Category A is for individuals studying, or those who have qualified within two years of nomination, a course that leads to the awards of a qualification at either Level 2 or Level 3 on the National Qualification Framework or equivalent.

The awards are open to all those currently studying materials, minerals technology or related subjects and those who have completed such courses within the last two years.

Mr McDonald said: “I am really proud to come second again in the prestigious IOM3 award. I intend to continue building on my success and have now started a foundation degree in materials engineering.”

He was encouraged to apply for this award by group training officer at Sheffield Forgemasters, Rick Franckeiss. Following his application, Mr McDonald was shortlisted for the award and was invited to London for an interview where he was asked a series of questions on his project entitled Forge Heating Operation Improvement.

Rick Franckeiss said: “Bradley was the youngest applicant again so he has done himself and the company proud.  I have suggested he wait a few years, grow a beard, finish his degree and try again – he is determined to win! Hopefully it will be third time lucky.

“He has a mature attitude for his years and since joining us has come out of this shell. He works very hard at college and is now studying for a degree as well as playing a key role as forge estimator in his department – often taking control in situations and experiencing a lot of pressure on his young shoulders.”

Judge Jim Shields from BAM Ritchies Division of BAM Nuttall said he was extremely impressed by Bradley’s presentation and had really enjoyed listening to him describe his journey to where he was now.