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Next stop, the finals
A YOUNG engineer overcame dyslexia to be shortlisted for a national award, after helping cut costs at an East Lancashire firm.
David Airey, 21, completed an advanced apprenticeship in commercial vehicle body building at East Lancashire Coach-builders, Lower Philips Road, last year where he now works as a design project engineer.
After impressing bosses at Training 2000, which organised his qualifications, David was put forward for the Advanced Apprentice of the Year honour at the National Apprenticeship Awards 2006, and will now fight it out in the final three at the Oscars-style ceremony in London on June 15.
He was shortlisted for his work, which helped to save the firm thousands of pounds in design work.
David, of Old Gates Drive, Darwen, said: "I am very proud to have been shortlisted for this award, which recognises the contribution I have made to East Lancashire Coachbuilders and my commitment to the company.
"Since day one of my apprenticeship, I have taken every opportunity to gain experience across all aspects of the business, from shop floor to design office."
Among the savings he helped make were on changing the manufacturing methods of the front and rear bumpers of the buses, which should save the company an estimated £10,000 per year. Steve Walker, career development manager at Training 2000, said: "David has worked extremely hard and his input has helped to improve the business and the service provided to customers.
"He has successfully overcome his dyslexia to achieve things he never thought possible and, along with the support he has provided to other apprentices with similar problems, it is for this reason that he so deserves to win this coveted award."
Leonard Donaldson, engineering manager and David's boss at East Lancashire Coach-builders, said: "His drive, coupled with his friendly and endearing manner, has helped him to overcome his dyslexia and established him as a major focal point with customers and a firm favourite amongst his working peers."