Brooks joined the Sheffield-based heavy engineering company as a 15-year-old apprentice welder in 1968. Since then he has worked on a number of projects for the company, including at numerous coalmines in the UK and a cement quarry in Ireland.

“It is always a pleasure to congratulate employees for their dedication and hard work, but it is especially rewarding when you are thanking a colleague for dedicating the whole of his working life to the company,” said managing director Kevin Parkin. “We value members of staff like Steve very highly and, now that we have introduced our apprentice training scheme, we can be sure that his knowledge and skills, as well as those of other long-standing employees, will be successfully passed on to a new generation of engineers and craftsmen.”

“I’m glad they’ve now reinstated the apprentice scheme, which is how I joined, because we need young people in the industry to preserve these skills,” said Brooks. “Although I must say that, looking back, welding technology has changed surprisingly little over the past 40 years.”