24.05.22 Liveryman John Blauth

HRH The Princess Royal and The Master visit Xtrac Academy

Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal visited Xtrac, the motorsport and automotive transmission technology specialist, in Thatcham, Berkshire in May to meet recipients of the Princess Royal Training Award, assessed by the City & Guilds Group of which HRH is President.

The Princess met apprentices and graduates, including Stephen Gomm who was appointed Coachmaker Automotive Apprentice in 2018. Master Coachmaker Sarah Sillars OBE was there to congratulate Stephen on the completion of his apprenticeship. Liveryman Joe Greenwell CBE, a director of Xtrac, was also present and added his own congratulations.

From left: Stephen Gomm, Sarah Sillars OBE, John Blauth, Warren Page, HRH Princess Royal, Adrian Moore

Coachmakers’ support for apprentices and students, primarily through educational bursaries, was mentioned to Princess Anne, though it became clear that she is aware of our activities in this area. Xtrac’s high precision bevel-gear cutting, and meticulous grinding operations, were demonstrated by current and former apprentices Wesley Bloom and Stephen Gomm, Martin Carrick and Jason Woodley.

Xtrac’s Chief Executive Adrian Moore, who began his career as an undergraduate sponsored by Rolls-Royce, said: “Our training programmes strongly underpin the continual improvement of our capabilities. It receives the highest priority throughout the business, supporting the company demand for a highly trained multi-skilled workforce to ensure our customers have the best products and services. “It’s particularly relevant as we are at the forefront of a once-in-a-generation technology change as the motorsport and automotive industry transitions from the internal combustion engine to hybrids and electric vehicles.”

Xtrac started its apprenticeship scheme in 1993 and has worked with Newbury College and others since 2003 to deliver its apprenticeships in advanced manufacturing. It is regarded by experts as an example of best practice in engineering training.