Nick Boles MP meets apprentices and staff during a visit to award-winning manufacturer Aero Stanrew.

A Government minister has said North Devon 'has a great deal to be proud of' after meeting apprentices at a Barnstaple company.

Nick Boles MP, the Minister for Skills and Equalities, toured the headquarters of Aero Stanrew at Roundswell today (Monday).

He was in North Devon at the invitation of Peter Heaton-Jones, Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate.

Aero Stanrew has received recent national awards including the Queen's Award for International Trade, and was named regional winner in the GREAT Face of British Business competition.

The specialist component manufacturer for the aerospace, defence, oil and gas industries has also won awards for its apprenticeships, one of the specific areas of interest for Nick Boles.

"I am so pleased that Peter asked me to come here," he said.

"As a Government we're doing a great deal to encourage apprenticeships and some of the young people I've met here are outstanding.

"What I've seen in Barnstaple shows what you can achieve when you have excellent employers such as Aero Stanrew, colleges like Petroc and agencies like North Devon Plus all working together."

Mr Heaton-Jones added: "He was incredibly impressed with the way North Devon Plus and Aero Stanrew are working together to give young people such an excellent start.

"The work they do is world-class, and I was delighted to be able to show Nick Boles we have such an internationally-recognised company right here in Barnstaple."