Manufacturing and engineering companies litter the shortlist for this year’s National Apprenticeship Awards, to be held on July 15.
The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) who orchestrate the annual National Apprenticeship Awards has announced the shortlist for this year’s ceremony which will take place at the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge, London. A total of twenty-four talented apprentices and their employers have been named by NAS as finalists including five nominees from exemplary UK engineering organisations.
The awards shortlist follows on the heels of government announcements that the number of apprenticeship places available is to be boosted by 50,000. This news will be greeted enthusiastically by many manufacturers who see apprenticeships as the primary route for building a pertinently skills and practically trained workforce to support the future of a competitive manufacturing industry in the UK.
The awards are designed to celebrate the talent of young people who have entered industry and excelled in applying their learning as well as giving credit to employers who are taking responsibility for the future of their firms and their sector – a significant challenge to small and medium sized businesses who have often struggled to find the funds to support apprenticeship placements during the recession. Although the news of 50, 000 more apprenticeship places is extremely positive the increase will need to be backed up with centralised and easy to understand funding support so that the UKs critical supply chain of SMEs can take advantage of the opportunities.
John Hayes, Minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, said:
“The annual Apprenticeship Awards recognise individuals who have achieved so much through hard work and good instruction and highlight the commitment many employers have made to invest in their workforce.
“Apprenticeships play a huge role in providing the skills we need to build an advanced economy. They help get young people into work, boost productivity and improve competitiveness. That is why we have created 50,000 additional Apprenticeship places. We want to see more Apprenticeships shaped by business needs. For this Government, skills are a priority and Apprenticeships are at the heart of our determination to produce a new generation of craftsmen capable of building a highly skilled, competitive economy.”
Manufacturing and engineering finalists this year include:
•Rolls-Royce – Shortlisted in the Macro Employer of the Year category, Rolls-Royce has a substantial and committed investment in Apprenticeships, nurturing hundreds of young people in engineering and manufacturing technologies.
•Sellafield – Another shortlisted entrant for Macro Employer of the Year, Sellafield employs over 300 apprentices in its 5,000 strong workforce. The company actively supports the STEM agenda through its links with schools and is supporting Britain’s Energy Coast Masterplan by sponsoring 150 community apprentices.
•Shearline Precision Engineering – This cutting-edge manufacturing and engineering firm is in the running for Medium Employer of the Year. Over 15 years, the firm has prided itself in nurturing apprentices with a range of transferable skills and producing a dynamic programme to meet the unique demands of the business and the industry as a whole.
•Kawasaki Precision Machinery – Shortlisted in the Medium Employer of the Year category, the firm is a world-wide provider of superlative power and control solutions and has had a long-standing relationship with Apprenticeships spanning over 30 years.
•Philippa Wilson from BAE Systems – Philippa is a finalist in the Advanced Apprentice of the Year category. Through her Apprenticeship she has been given a huge amount of responsibility from managing a project budget to supervising a team of younger apprentices. Her greatest achievement has been working on the FLAVIIR project, a programme looking at future technologies for un-manned vehicles.
More about the Apprenticeship Awards and the benefits of Apprenticeships can be found by visiting apprenticeships.org.uk or by calling 08000 150 600.