Allan Cook, chairman of the manufacturing sector skills council Semta, has received an honorary apprenticeship from the Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network (AAN).
Mr Cook was rewarded for his commitment to vocational training in the manufacturing and engineering sectors, The Honorary Apprenticeship Awards recognising the achievements of those with successful careers which began through vocational training and business people who have made a contribution to the development of apprenticeships.
Accepting his award Mr Cook said, “This is a tremendous honour. Apprenticeships are crucial to the success of our sector and to the economic recovery of UK plc. We must ensure that the right skills are in place to help businesses take advantage of growth opportunities and improve their profitability.”
Cook said that the needs to be more encouragement for employers to offer apprenticeships as they are a cost effective and practical way to build the skilled workforces that is essential for future growth and development.
London Mayor Boris Johnson was also honoured, AAN recognising his commitment to increasing the number of apprenticeships in the capital with an award. Frances O’Grady, deputy general secretary of the TUC was selected for her commitment to vocational training and John Armitt, the Olympic Development Authority chairman, was recognised for his contribution to apprenticeships within the construction sector.
Presenting the awards at Lancaster House, Sir Roy Gardner, chairman of the AAN, said: “Apprenticeships have come a long way in the past few years. We have record numbers starting and completing Apprenticeships and we are making real inroads into new sectors.
“We should be proud of our individual and collective efforts to realise our ambition that Apprenticeships in England are amongst the best in the world. According to a recent study commissioned by the London School of Economics, the number of apprentices in training, per thousand employees in England had almost doubled which improves our position on the league table to be higher than France.”
Semta plays a pivotal role in stimulating apprenticeship growth in engineering and manufacturing. It was awarded £5m by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) to increase the skills of the existing workforce and bring in new talent through the recruitment of both graduates and apprentices.