Isle of Man Bank Apprentice of the Year Award

As part of the Foundation Apprenticeship in Engineering (FAIE) scheme and to further develop final year apprentices' technical breadth, planning, task accomplishment, evaluation and presentation skills; a project will be developed by Apprentices within each company. The best from each company are then judged at an annual event whereby the best of the best will be chosen to receive this award.

Selecting the best project performance each year is an ideal way of developing and providing recognition and reward to the students.

Accordingly, the award is known as the Isle of Man Bank Apprentice of the Year Award, sponsored by the Isle of Man Bank who help sponsor the ACE programme. 

The judging panel for the award usually comprises one senior person from:

  • the Isle of Man Bank (which kindly sponsors this award and the ACE programme overall)
  • each of the sector companies who has put forward at least one project entry,
  • the Department of Economic Development, and
  • the University College Isle of Man.

The judging event is usually held during June each year (use Events link here for date this year).

As a further incentive, the winner will receive a monetary award of £200. 

The winner will also be entered into the Northwest Aerospace Alliance Best Talent competition, usually held during November each tear (use link here for more details).

2016 Award


Photo: John Hunter (Isle of Man Bank Head of Corporate and Commercial Banking) with Robert Kermode - winner (Triumph Actuation Systems)

Roberts project focused on an Airbus A320 aircraft by-pass valve which is manufacturing on Island. He has concluded that the process for manufacture could be sped up whilst reducing cost through some manufacture process layout changes and with the purchase of some specialist honing equipment so more of the manufacture process could be undertaken on Island instead of sending to the UK. The investment to make these changes is underway and is calculated to pay for itself within 12 months.

Robert commented “I’m very pleased to have won this award and to receive other people’s opinions and hear their feedback on my project. Overall my project has been an enjoyable experience and I have learnt a lot along the way.”

All entries were of a high standard and covered many interesting and varied aspects of engineering. Other entries were: John Shepherd (RLC Ronaldsway) - gauges, Sam Henry (Swagelok) - LEAN project flange assembly, Ashley Howard (Swagelok) - K series Regulator Project, and Robery Casey (Triumph Actuation Systems) - Investigation of In-house Broaching Tool manufacture.

John Hunter Head of Corporate and Commercial Banking Isle of Man Bank, one of the six judges, commented: “The Isle of Man Apprentice of the Year Award is a great opportunity for individuals to be recognised for their fantastic achievements and successes. At Isle of Man Bank we are delighted to continue our support of this event.”


Photo: Ashley Howard presenting his project in front of the judges


2015 Award


Photo: John Hunter (Isle of Man Bank Head of Corporate and Commercial Banking) with Daniel Catlow - winner (Swagelok)

Our 2015 winner, Daniel Catlow advises "My project was to develop and validate a new regulator to broaden Swagelok's offerings to their customers. Doing so involved:

  • Following a strict and structured 'new product development process' with regular peer reviews and appropriate checks and approvals from other experienced engineers and managers.
  • Leading meetings and monitoring progress.
  • Designing components to perform specific functions.
  • Theoretical analysis using applied maths and physics.
  • Planning and overseeing the manufacture of these components.
  • Designing testing phases to ensure the components perform as intended.
  • Performing testing to gather data.
  • Discussing results and making hypotheses from these results.
  • Writing engineering reports.
  • Giving presentations to an audience.

Doing all this allowed me to develop my engineering skills such as design, analysis, manufacturing etc. The project also gave me excellent opportunities to improve professional skills such as: leading meetings, time management, report writing and working with other departments/people in the company that I previously had little contact with.

Overall, it's a comprehensive learning and development opportunity that I would recommend to anyone given the chance."


Pictured from left to right: Andrew Sherry, Operations Manager (Triumph Actuation Systems), Jake McElroy (Triumph Actuation Systems), Chris Killey (Swagelok), John Hunter, Head of Corporate and Commercial Banking (Isle of Man Bank - Sponsor), Daniel Catlow - winner (Swagelok), Ozzy Madey (RLC - Ronaldsway), Matthew Corlett (Triumph Actuation Systems), Colin Bagshaw, HR Officer (RLC-Ronaldsway) and David Hester, General Manager (Swagelok).