THE importance of training young people for the world of work was emphasised by the Earl of Wessex on a visit to Brighouse this week.
Prince Edward opened the newly-refurbished KITS Engineering Skills Training Centre at Armytage Road and praised its work with young apprentices.
He said it was clear that the young people were enjoying their experience of learning at KITS and that it was helping to build their confidence.
“I’d also like to thank the employers who give them jobs at the end. It’s all well and good coming here and doing the training but it’s even better that it’s recognised in the business community,” he said.
During a tour of the updated centre, Prince Edward chatted to a number of apprentices and asked them about their training. After unveiling a commemorative plaque, he was presented with a pen and holder made by three apprentices.
One of them, Sam Groom, aged 22, of Todmorden, said: “I am making good progress with my work so I was asked to make the pen. “When we first designed it we thought it would be really difficult but it took me about a day and a half.
Sam added: “The Earl was down to earth, more approachable than I would have thought.”
Another apprentice, Jack Moore, said it was nice to see people taking an interest in what young people were doing.
“You think people like the Earl of Wessex would not be interested in what we’re doing but he was. At the end of the day we are the future,” he said.
“I am enjoying the course, I have been here 16 months and I have made some good friends and I am having a good time. It is a good place to be.”
And for Anton Cliffe doing engineering is a dream come true.
“My dad has always been in engineering so I have grown up with it. I have always wanted to become an engineer,” he said. “It is exciting, you are learning new things on new machines so it is pretty good.”
The 17-year-old from Bailiff Bridge said he felt quite shy about meeting the Prince. “I thought he was more normal, more like a real person. I thought he was going to be a bit posh but he was like any normal human being.”