Behind ECM Young Person’s Development Award

Robert Deakes receiving the Award from Andrew Webster, CEO, Mercator Media

The ECM Young Person’s Development Award was new for 2018. It offered a young person, aged 16 – 25, studying to work or beginning a career in the maritime industry, the opportunity to achieve industry recognition and a bursary to help further their career. The bursary was worth up to £850 (or equivalent value in relevant currency).

The first recipient of the Award was Robert Deakes, an apprentice at CQC who attended Bideford College.

Robert joined CQC as an apprentice three years ago. He is now responsible for the manufacture of CQC’s Fibrelight products, including the man overboard recovery cradles & emergency ladders.

Robert was nominated by Tim Craig-Harvey, Head of Business Development at CQC Ltd -  “Robert’s progress over the last three years has been exceptional (as well as successfully completing his apprenticeship) and he is a fantastic role-model for any apprentice. He has become crucial to the business and this nomination is recognition of the esteem in which he is held; it will also give him tremendous confidence in his abilities and will hopefully inspire him to achieve great things in the industry”.

We caught up with Robert to find out more about the young person behind the inaugural award…

How did you feel about winning the ECM Young Person Development Award?

It was a personal achievement and I’m honoured to have received it.

Tell us more about CQC

CQC manufactures textile products including soldier systems equipment, protective CBRN clothing and Fibrelight maritime safety products. Our Fibrelight products range from lightweight ladders and cradles to maritime training equipment.

What have been the biggest work challenges for you so far?

One of the biggest challenges was starting at CQC, as I had little experience in sewing or manufacturing, but the apprenticeship scheme was extremely beneficial, giving me knowledge in the industry and helping me learn how to sew and the process of manufacturing.

And your highlights?

There have been many highlights, but the main ones include making new friends and manufacturing the Fibrelight products, as they are used as safety equipment for training purposes and life-saving situations.

Do you have a mentor/hero in or outside the Industry?

Actor Tom Hardy - he’s awesome!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

My dad, because of his strong mind set and drive to always succeed.

What gets you through a bad day?

Cookies, golf and a laugh with my colleagues!

What’s next for you?

I have recently finished my apprenticeship scheme and I’m looking into an advanced course with my local college to further improve my skills.

And your company?

We continue to grow the business and ensure that our products are manufactured to high quality standards and meet our customers’ expectations.

We have recently reached a milestone; I made our 1000th Fibrelight Cradle and I look forward to making more Fibrelight maritime safety equipment!

Will your company be entering the 2019 European Commercial Marine Awards?

Yes, it’s a great way to celebrate the hard work of our employees and a great networking opportunity.

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