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Sony UK TEC apprentice claims prestigious industry award

Saulius Paltanavicius

A Sony UK Technology Centre apprentice has claimed a prestigious industry title at the 2020 Make UK Manufacturing Awards.

26-year-old Saulius Paltanavicius has won the Welsh Engineering Apprentice of the Year: Rising Star Award.

Originally from Lithuania, Saulius, who has been working at Sony UK TEC for three years, is one year away from completing his Higher Apprenticeship with the tech giant.

Before embarking upon his apprenticeship, Saulius studied BTEC Engineering in Hereford College of Technology before moving to Cardiff to study BTEC Electrical and Electronic Engineering Level 3 Extended Diploma at Cardiff and Vale College. Following this, he started his apprenticeship at Sony UK TEC.

Alongside his apprenticeship, Saulius studied a Higher National Diploma in Computing, combining software and electronics to become a multiskilled Apprentice Engineer. Following this, he has now taken the opportunity to study BEng Manufacturing Systems Engineering at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

The Engineering Apprentice of the Year: Rising Star award recognises those who have made significant effort to seize the training and development opportunities presented to them. The nominated apprentice is required to have shown significant contribution to support the business activities of their employer, which is exactly what Saulius has endeavoured to do.

Saulius has taken every learning opportunity and every chance to become involved in projects that involve research, developing, testing, and deploying Industrial Internet of Things Technology as well as utilising those technologies to support other engineers in improving and enhancing manufacturing processes for the future.

On his success, Saulius said he was “thrilled” and “privileged” to have won.

He reflects: “I am immensely pleased to have won this award and I’d like to thank everyone at Sony UK TEC who has supported me.

“It is an amazing and overwhelming feeling to have been shortlisted for a Make UK Manufacturing Award, let alone to actually win. There are so many young and bright candidates competing for these awards and so to have been shortlisted alone feels like an enormous achievement!

“Winning this award means a great deal to me as I feel my apprenticeship has really enabled me to develop and hone my skills, while pursuing a career that I am passionate about.

“Applying for an apprenticeship position with Sony UK TEC was the best career decision I’ve ever made. Continuous hard work and endless support from Managers and the Sony Pencoed Training Academy has opened so many opportunities for me.

“Ever since starting my apprenticeship, Sony has funded and supported me through higher education and I feel extremely lucky to have been presented with every opportunity to learn, enhance and develop whilst working towards my career as a multiskilled engineer.”

Mezz Davies, who works closely with Saulius as part of Sony UK TEC’s Advanced Manufacturing Research and Operation Centre, said: “Saulius is a valued part of our team – he is kind, conscientious, with a great eye for detail and a relentless work ethic.

“His enthusiasm for learning is clear in everything he does, and he is well under way to becoming an exceptional engineer.”

Jessica Jones, Learning and Development Manager at Sony Wales Academy, continued: “We’re extremely proud of Saul for how far he has come throughout his apprenticeship. The hard work that he has put in every step of the way is evident to everyone who works with him and the facility has certainly seen the benefit.

“Congratulations, Saulius, for a well-deserved win.”