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Top coach kicks off with challenge to apprentices

10th November 2016

A rugby league coach who has beaten the best in the global game drew on his experience as a world cup winner to inspire HETA apprentices who are embarking on careers in engineering.

Tim Sheens, recently appointed as head coach of Hull Kingston Rovers, challenged apprentices at HETA’s Hull awards to persevere when things go wrong, and to set out with the aim of learning something new every day.

Tim, who was making his first public appearance since taking up his new post, also urged the young people to maintain the passion that has given them their chance in industry.

The audience for the celebration held at the University of Hull heard how Tim was selected in the Penrith Panthers all-time team of legends and then racked up the trophies as a coach with the Canberra Raiders and the Wests Tigers before leading Australia to glory in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

He said his 30-year record as a club coach brought 318 defeats in 669 games: “That’s a lot of falling down and getting back up. Plenty of players have lost 50 per cent of their games and those knockdowns interfere with your self-esteem but it doesn’t mean you are a bad player. It just means you have had a setback. It’s human nature for people to make mistakes but you learn from those mistakes. You need to understand that not everything is going to be plain sailing.

I love working with young people because there is no cynicism. They just get on with it. You see it in our business – love for the sport – and I hope you have a love for what you are doing. Nothing great comes from it if you don’t have a passion for what you are doing. Whether you are 19 or 29 you still need to learn. As a coach I learn something every day and if I don’t I am disappointed.

Dr Malcolm Joslin, chair of the HETA trustees, told the apprentices that securing a place with the organisation was in itself an achievement, and one which can take them to the very top.

He said: 

We usually have about 800 or more young people apply to us and but many do not meet the required standard. We take on about 200. We recruit based on quality so the fact that you gained a place is a great achievement.

In the past there was something of a glass ceiling in industry. As an apprentice you could get to the level of supervisor but probably no further. To do any more you had to be a graduate. Now you can go as far as your ability and your determination will take you. Please do not think there are any ceilings or barriers.

My request is that you remain ambassadors for HETA. We are putting in a lot of effort to improve careers advice at school so please tell younger people and encourage them to pursue the sort of vocational education that you are doing.

Award winners

  • Most Improved Electrical Apprentice (sponsored by Yorkshire Water) – Iain Dale.
  • Overall Electrical Apprentice (Sponsored by ABP) – Chris Foster.
  • Most Improved Mechanical Apprentice (sponsored by Swift) – Matthew Nicholson.
  • Overall Mechanical Apprentice (sponsored by Daifuku Logan) – James Barr.
  • Most Improved Instrumentation Apprentice (sponsored by Swift) – Thomas Fishwick.
  • Overall Instrumentation Apprentice (sponsored by Yorkshire Water) – Alex Harrison.
  • Most Improved Multi Skilled Apprentice (sponsored by Yorkshire Water) – Gregory Denston.
  • Overall Multi Skilled Apprentice (sponsored by Yorkshire Water) – Ryan McGovern.
  • Most Improved Welding Apprentice – Ben Bardle.
  • Overall Welding Apprentice (sponsored by Swift) – Daniel Ellis.
  • Overall Apprentice (sponsored by Yorkshire Water) – Ryan McGovern.
  • Excellence in Health & Safety (sponsored BP Chemicals) – Andrew Duncan.
  • Award of Excellence (sponsored by the IET) – Amber Matthews.