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Celebrating award-winning engineering talent with Tarmac

Major local employer Tarmac is marking its long-standing partnership with the Chesterfield College Group by celebrating more award-winning talent at the company, through the success of 20-year-old Apprentice Molly Bardwell, who has just been chosen as the College’s ‘Student of the Year’.

Molly’s ‘determination to succeed in her academic and practical studies’ and ‘outstanding work ethic’ has set her apart from her student colleagues.  She was one of 25 nominees from the College’s 10,000 students. This was whittled down to a shortlist of three, before she was announced as the winner.

Eyam-based Molly was awarded an electrical apprenticeship with Tarmac in the summer of 2016 and has spent her first year in full-time study at the College.  This summer she continues her apprenticeship at the company’s Tunstead site, where she will gain experience across all three of the operations there – cement, lime and quarrying. When she finishes her four years with Tarmac, she will gain a HND in electrical engineering.

Molly was prompted to look at an engineering apprenticeship by her experience of her family’s Sheffield component business; and by a fellow student at the college who was already on the Tarmac apprenticeship scheme.

“I was delighted to receive this Award and I am already enjoying being part of the Tarmac team,” said Molly.

“We were really pleased when Molly accepted our offer of an apprenticeship last year,” said Tarmac’s Engineering Services Manager Reg Gartside “And we congratulate her on this huge recognition for her work and achievements so far.

“With only nine per cent of the UK engineering workforce female, and an international campaign to encourage more girls and women to look at Science Technology Engineering and Maths as career subjects, it’s important that Tarmac plays its part.”

As part of its continued efforts to recruit young people into the industry, Tarmac has recently become a member of the 5% Club. The 5% Club is a group of leading businesses with a programme to target 16-24 year olds, striving to achieve 5% of their workforce consisting of apprentices, sponsored students and/or graduates on formalised training schemes within five years.

Abigail Finney has just come to the end of her four year-apprenticeship at Tarmac Tunstead, having gained a range of qualifications including a HNC Level 4/5 in Mechanical Engineering.  Now that Abby is celebrating securing a permanent role at the Cement Plant, it is fitting that she now ‘passes on the apprenticeship baton’ to Molly as she too was a Chesterfield College award-winner.  In 2013/14 Abby won the Apprentice of the Year Award and was also a shortlisted finalist for Student of the Year.

“My apprenticeship with Tarmac has given me a wide range of challenges and responsibilities.  As I move on to my new permanent role as a cement plant fitter, it’s great to welcome Molly on board.  I am sure she will get as much out of her time here as I have so far.”

Julie Richards, Principal and Chief Executive of The Chesterfield College Group said:

“Molly and Abby’s achievements are fantastic examples of how an apprenticeship can provide a great start to a career in engineering as well as a signal to other would-be female engineers to follow their dreams. Tarmac works really hard to ensure they are developing the skills of the next generation of engineers and welcome women into the industry. We are very proud that our long-standing relationship with the company has allowed many young people to develop the appropriate skills to become valued members of their organisation.”