Young talent proves they have the right formula to represent the Industry
23 May 2005
A group of young people have been named regional winners of the chemical industry's 'Young Ambassador Award' which is part sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Young talents proves they have the right formula to represent the Industry
Mark Lockwood, 26, Bristol
The prestigious award tests the ability, enthusiasm and leadership skills of young people working in the chemical industry throughout the UK and Ireland. It identifies outstanding entrants who appreciate the issues and challenges faced by the industry, and who can easily convey to others the importance of chemicals to us all in every day life.
One of the finalists, Barry Headridge, a 26 year old Research Technologist from Falkirk, is eager to act as an ambassador for the chemical industry: "The best thing about achieving the title is that it gives me the opportunity to broaden my horizons, network with other young people and contribute to the sustainable development of the chemical industry," he says.
Organised by the Chemical Industries Association (CIA) and sponsored by Society of Chemical Industry (SCI), the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), and the British Chemical Engineering Contractors Association (BCECA), the award is a real chemical industry honour.
Judith Hackitt, Director General of CIA, highlights its importance: "The award is a effective way of showing the public, in very human terms, how vital the chemical industry is. The winners have already demonstrated that they work actively with the wider community to help strengthen public confidence in the industry."
"It is extremely encouraging to see committed young people, like Barry, from all over the UK and Ireland talk passionately about their job. In winning this award, he will now be able to reap the rewards of his hard work," she continues. "The chemical industry works closely with young people to ensure that the industry they inherit will be both sustainable and competitive."
Barry, who has worked for Ciba Specialty Chemicals for nearly two years, was awarded with a certificate and cheque. He will now join five other regional winners across the country to compete for the national title in the London final later this month. A regional runner-up prize was also awarded to Mr Eoghan O'Keeffe, a Process Engineer at GlaxoSmithKline in County Cork, Ireland.
The overall winner will be announced at the CIA Awards Dinner at The Palace Hotel, Manchester on 7 July, where they will receive a cash prize, an education visit abroad and will be invited to participate in a number of prestigious events. The National and Regional winners will become official ambassadors for the chemical industry, actively working to raise awareness of how the chemical industry contributes to society and the exciting career opportunities it offers young people.
The chemical industry in the UK employs 230,000 highly skilled people nationwide, and accounts for 2% of Gross Domestic Product and 10% of manufacturing industry's gross value added. It invests over £2 billion annually, representing 14% of total manufacturing investment, with a further £3.5 billion being spent on R&D. It is the UK's top manufacturing export earner, with an annual trade surplus of nearly £5 billion on sales of £33 billion, of which £29 billion is accounted for by exports, with a large proportion going to other countries in the European Union.
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