Former Sheffield Forgemasters apprentice appointed to the board
A former apprentice engineer has been appointed chief operating officer at Forgemasters 25 years after he started.
Gareth Barker started in 1996 and has progressed through the company, working in managerial roles across all production divisions, before being promoted to the board of directors.
He takes overall responsibility for site operations, technical and quality output, health and safety, environment and implementing new machinery.
He also works with the chief executive, chief finance officer and non-executive directors to shape the future of the business.
Gareth, aged 44, said: “I am delighted to sit alongside our other board directors and to work towards an exciting future for this business, which I have invested my entire working life into.
“I am an avid fan of apprenticeships and view our own scheme as our most important asset. It is the lifeblood of this company and our apprentices are Sheffield Forgemasters’ future leaders and decision makers.”
Starting work aged 19, he was 25 when he was promoted to a managerial role in Forge operations. He went on to become general manager of the vast South Machine Shop and the company’s youngest ever divisional director in 2007.
More more recent roles include group operations director and director of customer programmes.
Now, he will develop the company’s growth in markets including defence, civil nuclear, steel processing, offshore oil and gas and the emerging renewables sector.
Chief executive David Bond said he was perfect example of where apprenticeships could lead.
He added: “Gareth is a valuable addition to the board of directors at Sheffield Forgemasters and has intimate knowledge of the company’s processes, the markets we serve and our strategies for future growth.
“Apprenticeships present a great opportunity for youngsters to develop their skills and launch their future careers on a sound footing.
“Gareth is a perfect example of what can be achieved, having worked his way up from the shop floor to gain experience in managerial and director roles across the whole business.
“His work with the other board directors will shape this company for the future and we hope that his achievements to date will serve as a real incentive to apprentices throughout the industry, demonstrating that there are no boundaries to ambition and hard work.”