Bob began his own career as an apprentice at Barrow Shipyard, and is passionate about the apprenticeship scheme at Kimberly-Clark.

“I started my career as an engineering draftsman after completing an apprenticeship,” he said. “I came to Kimberly-Clark in 1978 as a Project Engineer, which was a huge change working with different machinery.

“The site was going through period of change from manual labour to automation, so I worked on installing new machinery and even building prototypes. It was a busy and exciting time, and I travelled to America and Europe researching machinery.

“I was then promoted to Engineering and Maintenance Manager and later became a Senior Mechanical Engineer across the site.

“I was a full-time employee until 2009 and then took early retirement at 60 years old, but stayed on part-time to manage the apprentice training programme alongside my wife, Sue.

“Being involved with the apprentice training programme has been a real career highlight for me. I feel passionate about apprenticeships as they’re a superb way to get people a great career.

“The programme has been so successful for Kimberly-Clark in terms of producing skilled technicians and engineers.

“Our former apprentices have gone on to great things. Some are in senior positions and working at strategic level, while others are great engineers and technicians who want to work day-to-day with the machinery and are fantastic at it.

“Lots of apprentices have come through the scheme over the years and ended up being friends as well as colleagues. Sue and I will always keep our ties to Kimberly-Clark.”

Bob has always lived in Barrow and enjoyed a great standard of living in the town.

“I was born in Barrow and I love the area,” he said. “Sue and I have always been really happy with where we live, and we’ve got brilliant neighbours.

“We’ve been married for 40 years this year and have a lot of shared interests – particularly our passion for training apprentices.”

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