British Touring Car driver and pioneering inventor Andy Neate has been inducted into the Apprenticeship Hall of Fame.
The Vale racer-cum-owner sits alongside Mercedes F1 boss Ross Brawn, chef and health campaigner Jamie Oliver, British Olympic star Rebecca Adlington, chef and restaurateur Gordon Ramsey and gardener and broadcaster Alan Titchmarsh to name but a few.
Having left school at 16 to join his local apprenticeship organisation which is now known as Aylesbury Training Group, in his hometown, Andy went on to invent a pioneering energy efficient lighting technology that is now used all over the world.
He firmly attributes his success as a world renowned engineer to his grounding as an electronics apprentice and is taking the opportunity this season to promote apprenticeships through his newly established racing team, IP Tech Race Engineering.
Speaking about his time as an apprentice, Andy said: “I simply wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t worked under the guidance of those really experienced guys all those years ago. I owe a lot to them and it’s really flattering to receive an honour like this.”