Former apprentice Phil’s Downing Street day out

Caterpillar's Phil Handley at 10 Downing Street.
Caterpillar's Phil Handley at 10 Downing Street.

Caterpillar boss Phil Handley has been to a very special meeting.

Phil, facility manager for Articulated Trucks at the engineering giant’s Peterlee factory, was a guest at a reception hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron and Business Secretary Sajid Javid at 10 Downing Street.

It was a privilege to be invited to the launch event at Number 10. It’s not every day one gets to go behind the famous black door.

Phil Handley

Held to celebrate the launch of the new Apprenticeship Delivery Board, the event brought together representatives of the UK’s top public and private businesses to mark the creation of a record number of apprenticeships.

“It was a privilege to be invited to the launch event at Number 10,” said Phil. “It’s not every day one gets to go behind the famous black door.”

Phil is one of ten former apprentices from different industry sectors who have worked with the National Apprenticeship Service and whose careers have been written up as mini case studies, demonstrating that an apprenticeship can be the first step in an exciting career.

At the Downing Street event all of the case studies were on display and afer the Prime Minister’s opening speech, Phil’s profile was first on hand for his review.

The case studies will be used during National Apprenticeship Week, March 14 to 18, to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have.

“I am proof that it is possible to go from the bench to the boardroom,” said Phil.

“It is exciting to see my profile being used at a national level to help promote apprenticeships.

“I hope that people thinking of an apprenticeship can take inspiration from the different profiles and give some serious consideration to earning while learning.”

David Cameron said: “The greatest asset any employer has is their workforce. And by investing in them, they are investing in the success and future of their business.

“We are committed to supporting three million quality apprenticeships over the next five years – to help strengthen our economy, deliver the skills employers need and give millions more hard-working people financial security and a brighter future.”

Sajid Javid” added: “Three million more apprenticeships by 2020 means even more life-changing opportunities for our young people. More than that, apprenticeships make sense for business.

“That’s why some of the country’s top business leaders are coming together to bang the drum for apprenticeships. We are putting employers at the heart of quality apprenticeships so young people get the skills they need to succeed.”