A Laboratory Technician is progressing his way through a manufacturing firm as he completes an apprenticeship which aims to tackle a growing skills shortage.

Declan Keane has secured an apprenticeship opportunity at Milliken Industrials Ltd, an automotive company which produces airbag fabric. During this programme, Declan is gaining the skills, knowledge and experience of working at a textile company and gaining an understanding of an industry which presents a growing skills shortage.

The talented former St Gabriel’s RC High School pupil has made such an impression on the company that he recently received an Outstanding Performer accolade at the annual Milliken Awards ceremony. The 17 year old was recognised for consistently going above and beyond in his role.

Milliken Director David Murray commented, “In order for our business to continue to grow we decided that we would need to invest in talent. By training and discovering new talent we are actively working towards closing the skills gap.”

Declan, who was delighted to be honoured during the event, added, “My apprenticeship is going really well so far and I am enjoying working with different types of data and fabrics. It is great that I am gaining experience and working alongside professionals who are sharing their industry knowledge.”

Declan started his apprenticeship in March 2018 and is due to complete in July 2020. During his training, Declan will cover areas such as the process of making airbag fabric, inputting data and general administrative tasks.