AN apprentice who works at Boscombe Down got the opportunity to shadow the minister for defence equipment, support and technology, Phillip Dunne MP.

Mike Dodd, a mechanical aeronautical apprentice at QinetiQ, won the Brathay Apprentice Challenge that tested the non-technical work skills and the personal attributes of competing apprentices.

Mr Dodd attended a number of meetings with the minister and had a tour of the MOD headquarters in London which included visits to the scientific and media departments.

He said: “I really enjoyed meeting Philip Dunne MP and am extremely grateful to him for the time he dedicated to accommodate me.

“I was a VIP in the MOD building and got to sit in on some very interesting meetings with a range of people from different MOD departments. “The day was fascinating and a very valuable experience that I learnt a huge amount from to carry forward in my future career.”

The minister praised the role that apprentices play in the economy and especially in the defence industry, which is one of the biggest employers in the UK.

Mr Dunne said: “I see every day the contribution that British apprentices make to businesses across the country to ensure that our Armed Forces have the best equipment, technology and support in the world.

“The defence industry generates over £22 billion turnover for the economy each year and by supporting hard working apprentices and boosting their skills we are securing the UK’s economic future.

“It was great to have Mike here today as part of his apprenticeship to be able to give him some insight in to how his work contributes to the safety of our nation.”