A TALENTED apprentice has gained national recognition after being named one of the best young engineers in the UK.

Engineering apprentice Kaylee McNally, of Newton Aycliffe manufacturer Arlington Automotive, received the award for apprentice of the year at the sixth annual Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance (SEMTA) Skills Awards in London’s Park Plaza Westminster Bridge.

The awards were presented to individuals, training providers and employers, for their achievements and contributions to supporting skill development within the engineering sector.

Miss McNally – who studies at the University of Sunderland – was recognised for her talent as an engineering apprentice and her work introducing other young people to manufacturing opportunities.

She said: “I’m delighted to win, both for myself and Arlington Automotive.

“It will also massively help with my involvement in STEM activity, inspiring my peers and younger generations to enter this sector in the future.”

The 19-year-old's hard work has saved her company £250,000 in general costs, and her extensive knowledge of 3D printing has been greatly appreciated by the company.

The Sunderland apprentice said her passion for engineering was sparked by hours she spent in the garage as a youngster and going to motorsport events with her father.

She is extremely passionate about increasing inclusivity and diversity in the advanced manufacturing and engineering industry and plays an active role in Arlington Automotive’s work experience programmes.

The manufacturing apprenticeship was delivered by East Durham College and has allowed the rising star to become involved in providing employment opportunities for people with disabilities with the help of Arlington Automotive.

She hopes to inspire more pupils, especially young women, to consider a career in the sector.

SEMTA chair, Dame Judith Hackitt DBE said: “I am genuinely inspired when skills are exhibited to a high level, as showcased in tonight’s nominations and by winners like Kaylee.

“Seeing the brilliance on show, provides reassurance that engineering and manufacturing industries, which are the backbone of Britain’s economy, continue to pave the way in finding and supporting outstanding talent."

SEMTA chief executive Ann Watson said: “It’s true, that one person can change the thought process of an industry. We’re delighted that the future landscape has these talented engineers."