Double Top 100 win for Sheffield Forgemasters

Posted on 30 Jun 2023 by The Manufacturer

Two UK Top 100 manufacturing awards announced in June have recognised Sheffield Forgemasters.

The company is named in the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers, a prestigious annual employer rankings developed by the Department of Education to independently assess and rank the country’s highest achieving apprenticeship employers.

Its Chief Operating Officer (COO) and former apprentice, Gareth Barker, has also been listed as one of 20 exemplars in The Manufacturer Top 100, a renowned awards programme which showcases the UK’s highest performers within manufacturing.

David Bond, Chief Executive at Sheffield Forgemasters, said: “We are delighted that our apprenticeship scheme and our COO have been recognised in this way.

“Apprentices make up roughly ten per cent of our workforce at any one time and are fundamental to our forward planning strategy. The award is testament to the diligence and efforts of all those who recruit, mentor and coach our young apprentices to help them achieve.

“This year we have undertaken one of our larger apprentice intakes, with 24 apprenticeship positions filled across numerous disciplines, as we continue to build our knowledge base for the future and create new skills to service the UK defence programme.”

Gareth Barker, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Sheffield Forgemasters
Gareth Barker, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Sheffield Forgemasters, was named an exemplar in this year’s The Manufacturer Top 100

Sheffield Forgemasters’ apprenticeship scheme boasts more than 30 years of continuous annual recruitment, with more than 90 per cent of apprentices who complete their training remaining with the company to embrace its continuous learning and development culture.

The company scored 58th in the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers, beating companies including Tesco, Rolls-Royce and Babcock.

Former apprentice Gareth Barker was awarded for his standing as a role model to UK manufacturing and for his transition from apprentice machinist at 19 years in the early 1990s, to COO in 2021, now responsible for the iconic company’s vast defence-driven recapitalisation programme.

David Bond added: “The success story which saw Gareth appointed to the Board is well deserved and is highly relevant to the apprenticeship programme at Sheffield Forgemasters.

“His achievements, the knowledge that he has accrued and his progress through virtually every senior managerial position in the company, now position Gareth to oversee the largest investment programme in the company’s 200 plus year history.

“As an exemplar to UK manufacturing, Gareth symbolises how far apprentices can go if they have the right attitude and the correct support, he is a role model that we can be very proud of.”

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