THE Earl of Wessex was in Calderdale yesterday to open a state-of-the-art skills centre.
Prince Edward toured KITS Engineering Skills Training Centre, Brighouse, before unveiling a plaque.
He was greeted by a party including the Mayor of Calderdale, Keith Watson, Sir Norman Bettison, the Chief Constable and David Todhunter, chief executive of KITS.
Edward talked to apprentices and said it was clear they were liking the course.
He also thanked the employers who give jobs to the apprentices in difficult economic times.
After unveiling the plaque on the workshop floor, the Queen's youngest son was presented with a pen and holder made by apprentices.
Sam Groom, 22, from Todmorden, was given the task of handing over the gift.
He said: "It was pretty nerve racking. I'm doing quite well on my course and got asked to make the pen.
"When we first designed it we thought it would be really difficult but it took me about a day and a half to make."
The centre has been fully refurbished so it can now offer apprentices hands-on training with each having their own individual machine to work at.
David Todhunter said: "We are delighted his royal highness spent so much time speaking to learners. It is great for staff and learners' morale."