Hovering above the rest

Posted on 18 Nov 2014 by Victoria Fitzgerald

A stalwart of marine manufacturing in Southampton has won a national award and been listed as one of the UK’s top 100 employers of apprentices.

Griffon Hoverwork, based in Woolston, has been named Medium Employer of the Year at the National Apprenticeship Service Awards, having already scooped a regional award earlier this year.

It is a huge coup for the Southampton business, which has also been listed as one of the country’s top apprenticeship employers.

The firm impressed judges with its strategic use of apprentices to address the marine skills gap and ensure the longevity of its business.

Griffon Hoverwork has 20 apprentices, aged 17 to 28, training as marine engineers, electricians and outfitters, GRP specialists, aluminium fabricators, welders and designers. All of its apprentices are recruited through City College Southampton to support the local employment market.

Michael Chalkley, engineering director and initiator of the apprenticeship programme at Griffon Hoverwork, said: “Winning the regional award earlier this year was fantastic enough so to be named the national winner really is the icing on the cake.

“We are so proud to support talented apprentices from Southampton and the surrounding areas. Seeing them succeed and watching the way they develop our business is incredibly rewarding.”

Griffon Hoverwork has a 95% apprentice retention rate and 100% of its apprentices complete their programmes and go on to be promoted.

Sarah Stannard, principal and CEO at City College which provides training for the apprentices, added: “Griffon Hoverwork is a great example of a local company that has been able to grow and sustain its business by developing new skilled staff through apprenticeships.

“It stands as a fantastic role model to other businesses in the city and I hope that having seen Griffon’s success, others will follow suit with their own apprenticeship programmes.”

For more information about City College Apprenticeship Programmes contact Carla Bannister, Business Generation Resourcer on 02380 577354 or visit https://www.southampton-city.ac.uk/