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Engineer 'addicted to learning'

Date 18 Oct 2007

A North East engineer has been recognised as a life long learner after winning a National Training Award. Keith Copeland was notified of the award by former World sprint hurdles champion Colin Jackson at a regional ceremony at the Hilton NewcastleGateshead Hotel.

Keith faced the loss of his own job in the 1980s when shipyards began to close only 12 months after completing an apprenticeship. He now works as a quality engineer for Nissan and is seconded to One NorthEast as a North East Productivity Alliance (NEPA) engineer to assist regional companies to improve their manufacturing practices.

His determination led him to gain a string of qualifications. He has several City and Guilds qualifications, a Certificate and Diploma in Supervisory Management, a First Class Honours Degree in IT, an MSC with Distinction in Engineering Management, and is also due to complete his PhD this winter.

Keith said: "To date I have assisted 750 UK companies, providing training for over 2,700 people in many areas of continuous and productivity improvement. "My current role with NEPA has also allowed me to work with schools and universities promoting manufacturing and encouraging student involvement in engineering, which supports my determination to keep manufacturing in the UK through sharing skills and experience."

Dr Colin Herron, NEPA Best Practice Manager, said: "Keith has worked hard throughout his time with NEPA and has established himself as an integral part of the team even though he is still an employee of Nissan.

"His dedication to work and research has meant that he has directly benefited companies who usually would not have been able to access this level of support and has raised the profile of the region by presenting his work at a national level. We wish him well in completing the final stages of his PhD."

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