A cohort of companies were given special cause to celebrate on ‘Employer day’ during National Apprenticeship Week 2023, as they became the first companies in 2023 to receive the Make UK Engineering Apprenticeships: Employer Kitemark Accreditation.
The Make UK Engineering Apprenticeships: Employer Kitemark Accreditation recognises exemplar employers of engineering apprentices – companies that have undergone a 12-month accreditation process that includes satisfaction surveys of existing engineering apprentices and benchmarking of the company’s apprenticeship scheme against industry best practices.
Ran by Next Gen Makers as part of their Engineering Apprenticeships: Best Practice Programme initiative, the Kitemark Accreditation is quickly becoming a badge of honour for companies that ‘go the extra mile’ in creating a great apprentice experience for the engineers of the future.
Companies are recognised with either the Gold standard Excellent Employer Kitemark status, or the Silver standard Aspiring for Excellence status – helping them to differentiate and stand out as attractive employers for potential engineering apprentices moving forward.
On Friday 10 February, decision makers and engineering apprentices from companies including Cummins Inc, Veolia Water Technologies, Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems (UK), Davicon Group, Promtek, Brown & Holmes and Thyssenkrupp Materials UK celebrated as they received their award trophies and certificates of accreditation at a dedicated awards dinner held at the Make UK Technology Centre in Aston, Birmingham.
These companies are only the second cohort ever to achieve the Accreditation and are the first to do so in 2023.
They follow KUKA UK, Weir Group, Wienerberger UK, Thomas Dudley, Eminox, Ishida Europe, AE Aerospace, Redhill Manufacturing, Brown McFarlane, Fablink Group and Alucast who formed the first cohort of manufacturers to receive Accreditation in July 2022.
Stephen Phipson, Make UK CEO, commented: “It’s vital that would-be apprentices feel comfortable and confident when selecting an engineering employer, who will give them the right support and training throughout their apprenticeship and beyond.
“This kitemark complements and builds on the programmes that Make UK and Next Gen Makers have already developed which are key to helping place apprentices and enable employers to bridge the skills gap which is currently affecting the sector.”
The Next Gen Makers Engineering Apprenticeships: Best Practice Programme continues to grow at pace – and now represents a large online community of UK engineering and manufacturing firms committed to achieving excellence in how they attract, develop, and retain young engineering talent through best practice sharing, whilst working to achieve best practice benchmarks.
Adam Tipper, Managing Director of Next Gen Makers adds: “Companies that are currently involved in the programme and achieving the Kitemark Accreditation range from blue chip multinational firms to SME, family-owned manufacturers.
“This mix is extremely pleasing to see, as the skills shortage effects all levels of various engineering supply chains across the UK. Furthermore, great apprenticeships and careers exist at both SME level and corporate level, with many companies committed to running best in class schemes – it is vital that young people and influencers understand that.
“The Kitemark gives those young people confidence that they are choosing an employer that goes the extra mile to develop engineering apprentices and create future pathways for them within their business”.
Companies can join the Engineering Apprenticeships: Best Practice Programme at any time to learn and improve. Those that meet the qualifying criteria of having at least three current engineering apprentices can then opt in to one of four annual accreditation cycles; January, April, July and October.
All companies are re-accredited each year to retain the Kitemark or improve their achieved Kitemark level.
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