Knutsford based Packaging Automation (PA) the leading manufacturer and exporter of specialist food packaging machinery received recognition for its long established apprenticeship scheme this week when electrical engineer James Sydenham won Best Apprentice in Cheshire and Warrington in the apprenticeship category at The High Sheriff’s Awards for Enterprise.

PA has trained more than 100 apprentices since the scheme started 30 years ago with former apprentices now holding director, management and team leader roles in the business today. As a rapidly growing business, PA needs to continually recruit and has struggled to find engineers who have the specialist skills required for the design and manufacture of food packaging machinery.

The High Sheriff’s Awards for Enterprise are Cheshire’s most prestigious Awards for business performance. In partnership with the University of Chester, The High Sheriff’s Awards gives Cheshire businesses the opportunity to shine and demonstrate they are an outstanding Cheshire business.

The award was announced at a ceremony held at Chester Racecourse presented by psychologist, high-performance coach and New York Times best-selling author John Amaechi OBE.

Speaking after the event James said “It feels amazing to win, I never thought 4 years ago when I joined that I would be shortlisted for an award like this never mind to win. PA has given me a great opportunity and I can’t thank them enough. The team on the shop floor have given me so much support and I am looking forward to a successful future with PA.

While working, James has completed his HNC in Electrical/Electronic Engineering. James is now continuing to build his knowledge and thriving as an electrical fitter. PA recognises James’ potential to be a future leader in the business and he has been included in our recent Rising Stars development programme.

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