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Captain Ade Orchard OBE, CO RNAS Culdrose and Nick Boles MP
Nick Boles MP meet Tom Cooper a 2nd year apprentice
Apprentices and Managers with the Minister and local MP Derek Thomas.
Capt Orchard and Nick Boles MP chat with Ellis Boase a 2nd year apprentice
Nick Boles MP looks on as a gear box is lowered into a Merlin
Nick Boles MP chatting with some of the work force


Published: 21 Mar 2016

Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose was host to a special visit by Nick Boles MP, Minster of State (Departments for Business, Innovation and Skills and Education).


The visit was part of ‘National Apprenticeship Week’ which is taking place all week across the country, with hundreds of events from 14-18 March 2016. The minister got a chance to meet and chat with several apprentices who work on the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm Base in West Cornwall, taking in two areas where they work. First of all he sampled the catering delights of Jacob Webb who is a chef apprentice with SODEXO at RNAS Culdrose.


Moving to the Merlin Depth Maintenance Facility (MDMF) at Culdrose’s own Industrial engineering complex, he toured one of Serco’s busiest hangars where deep maintenance on the Royal Navy’s Merlin helicopters takes place. Here he saw several Merlins at various stages of being stripped down and rebuilt.


Nick Boles MP said, “The Armed Forces are leading the way in creating apprenticeships.  I hope that other employers will follow their lead.”


The annual National Apprenticeship Week is in its ninth year and is co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service, it is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the economy. 


With the Minster of State on the visit was Derek Thomas, local MP for St Ives.


“Being able to learn highly skilled trades through apprenticeships at RNAS Culdrose provides an opportunity for our young people to remain in West Cornwall. This is such an exciting development because there is a national commitment to train engineers and technicians to meet the growing demand for these skills. Culdrose is responding to this call and locally young people are achieving skills that will serve them for life right here on their doorstep.”


Every year the Week increases in popularity and National Apprenticeship Week 2015 was a huge success. For 2016, supporters are being encouraged to organise events and activity around that will help us to realise our overarching theme for the Week, which is ‘Rise to the top’.


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