A BAE Systems employee has reached the top of his profession after being elected to the governing council of The Welding Institute.

Mike Skyrme began work at Barrow shipyard as a welding apprentice in 1984. After being made redundant in 1992, he returned eventually to the business in 2005 as a Welding Engineer.

Now the Welding Engineering Manager, he is ensuring the company's world-beating standards are maintained and passed from generation to generation.

Mike said: "I'm extremely proud having come from the grass roots. After joining the Institute as a Technician member in 1999, I became a Fellow of the Institute this summer.

"Now elected to serve on Council I'll be helping provide the governance for how The Welding Institute and its subsidiaries operate."

BAE Systems Submarines Engineering Director Russ Watson said: "This is a tremendous accolade for Mike and deserved personal recognition for his technical excellence.

"It also once again demonstrates the depth and breadth of the expertise in the business. Well done Mike."

Now 53, Barrow-born Mike went to St Bernard's School in the town before beginning his apprenticeship. Since 2014 he has chaired The Welding Institute's Welding Trailblazer scheme, developing and embedding new, high quality standards for welding apprentices. The Institute is the global professional body for welding.

His personal development has seen him achieve both a Degree in Metallurgy and Materials and a Masters in Welding Engineering. He is one of many examples within the Barrow shipyard of people beginning their careers as apprentices from school and working their way up within the industry.

"I left school with a handful of CSEs. I didn't believe then that I would be able to achieve a degree or this kind of recognition," Mike said.

And Mike's long connection to the shipyard continues; he now has two daughters working in the business. Abigail is currently a Production Support Lead working on Boat 7 and his youngest daughter Megan has just commenced an apprenticeship as a Mechanical Fitter.