Ken Cooke, the 2018 Master Cutler, returned to Pryor some 50 years after starting his career there as an apprentice.
Ken joined the acclaimed training programme at the age of 15 and moved through various machine shop functions, learning the key skills of his trade. He returned to Pryor in September 2018, at the end of his year as Master Cutler, to tour the facilites and meet the current team.
It was a proud occasion for the company, particularly given the importance that Ken has placed on the role of apprenticeships today and the impact it had on his own, highly successful career.
"Education and apprenticeships are a grounding for the future providing people with skills, discipline and understanding of the work environment."
"I think apprentices have a greater depth and understanding about the role they play in society, and what they can achieve. They are working in a real environment where they can see a path ahead. When you take on an apprenticeship you are taking in all the information, but also learning new skills that you wouldn’t be able to get in a classroom."
Pryor continues to place huge importance on its strong apprentice programme today, with 5 current members from the highly acclaimed AMRC Training Centre.
Operations Director Simon Dunn said, "We hope that the Master Cutler's visit to Pryor today is a great motivation to all apprentices, that there are no limits to what they can achieve. Our apprentices form a vital part of our current and future design and manufacturing capabilities in Sheffield city centre."
While touring Pryor's facilities Ken was shown the very latest in permanent marking technology, including a robotic Dot Peen marking system currently being built in the very production facilty where he was trained 50 years ago.
At the conclusion of the tour, Ken was presented with his orginal employee card by group Chairman, John Tissiman MBE, himself a former Master Cutler.
Ken will finish his year as Master Cutler in a few days' time. He said "my career has come full circle really, coming back to the place where I started out all those years ago".
The Master Cutler is head of the Company of Cutlers, established in 1624 in order to support manufacturing in the Hallamshire region. Today the role is a key ambassador for the region and the industry.