Superstar welder shortlisted for another award!

Our welder Nathan Thorley has done it again!

This time he’s shortlisted for the Solids Handling and Processing Association (SHAPA) Solids Handling Industry ‘Young Person of the Year’ at the awards to be held next month.

In the last two years Nathan has been a finalist for no less than five awards:

JUNE 2016: Shortlisted for an Award at the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Apprenticeship Recognition Awards 2016

APRIL 2017: ‘Highly Commended Award’ in the Apprentice of the Year Category at the Sentinel Business Awards – recognised as being one of the top four Apprentices in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.

JUNE 2017: Nathan attends Newcastle-under-Lyme College on day release and was awarded the ‘Advanced Apprentice Outstanding Achievement’ award at the 2017 awards ceremony.

SEPTEMBER 2017: Nathan won the ‘Engineering Apprentice of the Year’ award presented by the Stoke-on-Trent Association of Engineers.


We’re wishing him lot’s of luck. The awards evening is taking place aboard the SS Great Britain in Bristol on Tuesday 17th April. For more information about SHAPA and the awards visit their website here.


The nomination

Nathan has a determination and drive to grow that exceeds the business expectations of a young person in his role. Having already completed an EAL Diploma L2 in Engineering Technology and an EAL NVQ L2 in Performing Engineering Operations Nathan joined Dustcheck in 2013. With the practical, hands on experience he had gained at Newcastle under Lyme College through the EAL courses Nathan immediately hit the ground running. A fast learner, he soon became an integral part of the 8-strong workshop team.

Nathan spent two year’s working towards his City & Guilds L3 Fabrication and Welding and NVQ L3 in Fabrication & Welding consisting of day release to Newcastle-under-Lyme College and assessments in the workplace. He completed this course in 2016 and then went on to continue his training by enrolling on the BTEC Diploma Level 3 in Engineering which he completed in June 2017.

Ever wanting to improve himself and gain more skills, Nathan is now studying on day release towards a HNC qualification (Foundation Degree) in Engineering. This decision to continue training demonstrates his commitment and enthusiasm to be the best he can be. This next qualification is knowledge-based with units in project management and innovation. Once completed Nathan will have the opportunity to top up his qualification to a full Degree and with his drive to work his way up in the business, this qualification will give him the grounding needed.

Nathan’s contribution to the workshop has been invaluable and Production Manager Chris Taylor pays particular praise to him in that he doesn’t have to cherry-pick work that he’s capable of as he can turn his hand to all required work in the workshop.

A particular strength of Nathan’s is his TIG Welding ability. Nathan is highly proficient in both MIG and TIG but the way in which our units are constructed often requires the fine, precise welds offered by TIG. In the food and pharmaceutical industries in particular, there is a requirement for stainless steel produced units with no edges, lips, corners and ledges. This is to prevent the build-up of product within a system therefor being much more safe and hygienic. Nathan’s precise welding ability means high specification jobs can be given to him increasing the capacity for production in this area. This is something that wouldn’t be expected of an Apprentice of his experience and is above and beyond his remit which is fantastic for our workshop team.

Nathan is quick to learn. This has also meant that as well as his core welding and fabrication duties he can work in our very busy stores department. He provides cover for our Stores Supervisor and can also provide support in busy periods.

As well as this Nathan has also been involved in site visits where service, repairs or installation are required. His professional and mature outlook gives our management team the confidence to put him out in the field in front of our customers knowing he will be committed to providing great service. This is again above and beyond Nathan’s job remit.

Being a medium sized business means an essential part of everyone’s job here is to provide support to other departments at busy times. Nathan’s work ethic means he’s quick to offer a hand and undertakes all tasks with a high standard of professionalism.

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