High-vis heir: William tries out a digger 'to tell George' as he meets apprentices

Rebecca Taylor
Royal Correspondent
The Duke of Cambridge (right) operating an asphalt paver in the visit. (Press Association)

It was high vis and hard hats for the second in line to the throne as Prince William visited a skills centre to meet apprentices and discuss working conditions for young people.

The Duke of Cambridge was in Nottinghamshire where he had a tour of the facilities at Tarmac’s National Skills and Safety Park, which is a training base for people working in the construction sector.

Tarmac is a sustainable building materials firm which employs about 7,000 people across more than 400 UK sites.

The duke donned a hard hat and high visibility jacket as he turned his hand to operating an asphalt paver outside.

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The Duke of Cambridge (left) during a visit to the Tarmac National Skills and Safety Park in Nottinghamshire. (Press Association)
The duke (left) operating an asphalt paver during the visit. (Press Association)

Having a go on a rock quarrying simulator, he said: “At least I can tell George I’ve been on a digger.”

According to The Daily Telegraph, the duke was even offered a job at Tarmac, in recognition of a job well done.

The training centre is located at an active quarry in Mansfield. It will provide training for graduates, apprentices and those retraining from other sectors.

After trying out the centre’s equipment, the duke joined a round table of chief executives, managing directors and chairmen of leading UK businesses to discuss joint opportunities for companies in the UK to support social mobility and to improve the options available to young people across British society.

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The Duke of Cambridge (left) operating an excavator simulator at the skills park. (Press Association)
The Duke of Cambridge (centre) admiring the work at the park. (Press Association)

He was also joined by Justine Greening, former MP and the founder of the social mobility pledge.

The Telegraph reports he told the group: “Social mobility and opportunity for young people is really really important, and obviously the fact you’re all here, you all understand that.

“This is an area my father has been heavily involved in, through the Prince’s Trust, for many years. 

“So I’ve slightly inherited that interest in trying to think about opportunities and young people’s potential.”

The Duke of Cambridge meeting with business leaders during a visit to the Tarmac National Skills and Safety Park in Nottinghamshire.
The Duke of Cambridge met business leaders in Nottinghamshire. (Press Association)

The duke then visited The Beacon, a day centre in Mansfield which gives support to homeless and vulnerable people.

It started in 2001 when five homeless people came into St John’s Church for tea and toast. The centre now supports up to 50 people in a dedicated building where they can get a hot meal, clean clothes and medical care.

While there, the duke was tickled by the tale of two friends, one of which lost the other’s prosthetic limb.

Delroy Carr, 58, had to have his leg amputated at the knee after injecting heroin.

The Duke of Cambridge poses with volunteers during a visit to the Beacon Project. (Press Association)
The Duke of Cambridge jokes with one of those helped by the project. (Press Association)

Daniel Walker’s offer to help Carr ended up leaving him limbless, as he recalled to the prince: “His leg from the hospital rubbed and he was getting really bad sores.

“So I said I’d take it home, put the angle grinder on it.

“I’ll change the disk, put some soft on it and run it down a little bit for you.

“I’ve gone to work, because I worked as a binman, and I’ve come back and I’ve gone ‘Babe, where’s Delly’s leg gone?’

“She went ‘That horrible thing you left in the garage? – it freaked me out, it’s horrible’.

“I said, ‘well where is it?’, and she went ‘dustbin men took it – your mates come round earlier’.

“And I went ‘oh my God’, I’ve lost Delly’s false leg.”

The Duke of Cambridge met several people who get help at the day centre. (Press Association)
Prince William listens to service users at The Beacon. (Getty Images)

He added: “He’s never had one since – nine years.

“He’s been hopping mad for nine years.”

Prince William said he would personally see that Carr’s details went to the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) where ex-service personnel have prosthetics fitted.

Carr, 58, an ex-serviceman, later told PA: “I wouldn’t have expected him to know as much as he does, he seems very well informed and genuinely seems interested, not like he’s putting it on.

“He seems very genuine and really wants to help.”

William also spoke to key workers about what the service users had told him, recounting their honesty of how hard it is to come off heroin.

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The Duke of Cambridge (right) paid a visit to support the facility. (Press Association)

While William was away in Nottingham, his wife was closer to home, meeting parents of young athletes at a SportsAid event in London Stadium.

The Duchess of Cambridge was shown how to line up in the starting blocks and throw a reverse punch by some of Britain’s best sportsmen and women.

She also met the charity’s trustees and long-term supporters as well as parents whose key role she noted in a short speech.

Meanwhile, William’s younger brother Harry hosted a working summit in Edinburgh where he sought feedback on his Travalyst project, which he hopes will make it easier to travel more sustainably.