From one Academy to Another

15 September 2014

Cian Timmins, one of our relatively new apprentices in the James Heal Academy has experienced a hectic and extremely energetic month as he recently signed for local side Halifax Rugby League FC and also took part in a charity bike ride to raise funds for a children's eye cancer charity. The fund-raising event took place on Saturday July 12 where Cian, together with three of his rugby playing team-mates, rodes static bikes in the shop window of the local Vision Express, attempting to replicate the 35 kilometres of the Calderdale leg of the recent Tour de France which took place the previous week.

The picture below left shows Cian (in cap) with a fellow fund raiser and Thomas Hale, a young recipient of the Charity plus Suzanne Mitchell of Vision Express. On the right is Cian making his home debut for Halifax RLFC.

A LONG RUGBY PLAYING CAREER - AND HE'S ONLY 18 - Cian, who has been playing rugby league since around six years old, was spotted and signed by the Huddersfield Giants at the age of 14. At the Giants he had a scholarship with the under 15's and under 16's sides who went unbeaten for the whole season, winning 12 from 12 games against prestigious teams such as Warrington Wolves, Bradford Bulls, St Helens, Leeds Rhinos, Castleford Tigers and the London Broncos.

He was asked to stay at the Giants to play in the under 19's academy where he spent around 2 years further developing his skills. However competition for places and game time was tough and consequently struggled to break into the team but he did play on six occasions. Consequently he moved to sign for Halifax RLFC and has played four time, making his home debut at ‘The Shay’ in a 30-18 victory over Featherstone Rovers last week.

His position on the rugby field is as a 'stand-off', a player responsible for directing the ball to the rest of the team in attack, often known as the 'pivot'.

FROM ONE ACADEMY TO ANOTHER - In April this year Cian joined another team when he became a member of the James Heal Academy, to commence his four-year apprenticeship programme in mechanical engineering which consists of one year fulltime at college, followed by three years back in the business, attending college on day release.

Since that time he has worked on many of our Textile Testing instrument which are produced within our premises at Lake View, Halifax. These include the GyroWash, TruBurst, Titan, Orbitor and also our new Martindale 1300 series, gradually building up his knowledge and in-depth understanding of each precision instrument.

In the pictures below Cian can be seen to the right of the picture of Steve Jarvis, the Production Line Manager, and the James Heal apprentice team and he is the left in the picture with his Halifax RLFC team mates.

The company have always run national apprenticeships schemes but the James Heal Academy was formally established in June 2012 as a critical element of the company's commitment to ensure traditional skills are preserved and new skills are developed to support future business needs.

We currently have a number of young people developing their skills in various roles within the business including the Machine Shop, Electronics and Service & Calibration ensuring a supply of high quality team-players for the future.