Double Top 100 win for Sheffield Forgemasters
Two UK Top 100 manufacturing awards announced in June have recognised Sheffield
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
“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.”
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 58 th 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
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