The 2024 Enginuity Skills Awards: A chance for apprentices to showcase their achievements

Posted on 14 Dec 2023 by The Manufacturer
Partner Content

Nominations are now open for the 2024 Enginuity Skills Awards, a night to celebrate the apprentices and businesses helping close the UK’s engineering and manufacturing skills gap.

Summer 2024 will welcome the 10th edition of the Enginuity Skills Awards, established to celebrate the brightest and best in early-career engineering and manufacturing talent, and showcase those businesses championing skills development in the industry.

The annual event is hosted by Enginuity, a charity using industry knowledge and data to close the UK’s engineering and manufacturing skills gaps, and promote technical education and careers in associated sectors.

“At Enginuity, we want to help employers inspire and engage young people with the careers available in engineering and manufacturing,” said Ann Watson, CEO of Enginuity.

This year’s event will offer awards in eight categories, four of which are for apprentices and students. Among them is the Graduate, Degree or Higher Level Apprentice of the Year award, meant to recognise the success of a graduate or apprentice whose commitment, innovation, and skills are a valuable addition to the workplace, and who is expected to make significant contributions to the wider industry. Last year’s winner, announced in a ceremony held at the Park Plaza London Riverbank and attended by leaders from across the UK’s engineering and manufacturing industries, was James Millington.

An Electric Powertrain Engineer at Bentley Motors Ltd in Crewe, James impressed the judges with his proactive decision to pursue a degree apprenticeship and get a headstart in the automotive industry. “While other people my age are just exiting university and looking for careers, I have over 4 years of hands-on experience within the industry and my degree qualification,” James said.

Bentley is now developing its first electric vehicles, and James had the opportunity during his apprenticeship to test and develop his skills while working on the design of an electric motor free from rare earth magnets and copper windings, making it both cheaper and more easily recyclable.

“From soft skills such as presentation delivery and project management, to hard
skills in technical development, computer-aided design, and vehicle testing, I have built up all of the tools I need to do my job successfully,” he said.

James has also advocated for the benefits of technical training and offered support to others by discussing with his MP how to better promote apprenticeships, advising other young people on how to apply for one, and acting as a mentor to a graduate who was on placement with Bentley Motors.

“I’ve done everything I can over the last four years to encourage more people into
apprenticeships,” James explained. “One of the biggest projects I was involved in during my apprenticeship was working with a local school to teach their students how to build an electric vehicle. I was able to share my knowledge and experience to really show them best practices for building their car so that they would learn about the world of engineering, as well as getting hands-on and making something.”

James’ achievements were celebrated at the awards by nearly 300 guests representing 106 different businesses, including his employer Bentley Motors. “He’s a pleasure to work with,” said Jonathan Wigston, the company’s Functional Manager for Transmission, Driveline, and BEV. “I believe he can be an example for apprenticeships, not just for Bentley but across engineering.”

“Winning the Graduate or Degree Apprentice of the Year Award is a huge achievement and shows James is undoubtedly one of the best apprentices in UK engineering and manufacturing.” added Ann Watson of Enginuity.

The next edition of the Enginuity Skills Awards will take place during the Smart Manufacturing & Engineering Week held in Birmingham next June, and will include categories for Best Advanced Level Apprentice; Intermediate Level Apprentice; Graduate, Degree or Higher Level Apprentice; and T Level Student; giving young engineers of the future an opportunity to share their achievements with the engineering and manufacturing industry.

Winners of the four apprenticeship categories this year – Graduate Degree or Higher level apprentice, Advanced level apprentice, Intermediate level apprentice and T Level student will receive a £1,000 prize, with two runners-up for each category also receiving £500.

Nominations close on February 16th, so apply today for your chance to win:

Join Enginuity to celebrate skills excellence and champions; driving a decade of innovation.