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Forgemasters makes England’s top 100 Apprenticeship employer list

30 June 2011

Sheffield Forgemasters has been recognised in the first ever Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list in England.

Sheffield Forgemasters has been recognised in the first ever Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list in England.

The manufacturing giant was one of 100 employers announced last night at the annual National Apprenticeship Awards to feature in the list supported by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) and City & Guilds - the UK’s leading vocational education organisation.

The company also won the BAE Systems Award for Large Employer of the Year at the prestigious annual awards.

Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd (SFIL) chief executive Graham Honeyman said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be selected for this prestigious list.

“The list showcases some of the best businesses across the country and it is an honour to be amongst some of the greats, and to recognise Forgemasters as one of the leading organisations in the country and in the engineering field.

“We believe a return to traditional apprenticeships and their values is considered vital to the health of Forgemasters and to British industry.”

SFIL is currently training 64 apprentices from a total of 811 employees for roles in all departments across the company – just under 8 per cent of the workforce. In 2010 more than 250 applicants applied for 30 vacancies challenging national statistics that apprenticeships are not sought after by young people.

It invests more than £1m per annum in its apprenticeships training programme plus public sector grants with a range of qualifications being achieved from NVQs, BTEC, City & Guilds to undergraduate/post graduate level including Phds, lifelong learning plus work-based key-skills learning programmes. In 2010, 22 apprentices started foundation degrees to achieve technician status. 

Apprentices have contributed to the organisation's success and are now engaged in refining work practices and control systems to improve efficiency and productivity across the operation. 

The list is an exciting new initiative to recognise excellence in businesses that employ apprentices. 

By celebrating their outstanding achievements, NAS and City & Guilds hope to raise the profile of Apprenticeships and promote their benefits to learners and employers including increased funding and new frameworks. 

The Government has announced it will increase funding for apprenticeship programmes and they will play an integral role in providing the skills required to grow Britain’s economy.

Simon Waugh, Executive Chairman of the National Apprenticeship Service said,

“I am delighted to be celebrating the success of the first Top 100 Apprenticeship employers; they represent the very best apprenticeship programmes across the country.  The list includes organisations of all sizes, from a wealth of industry sectors and this highlights the benefits that apprenticeships offer to all types of employers including increased productivity and improved staff retention.”

CEO and Director General of City & Guilds, Chris Jones said: “City & Guilds is committed to creating a more proficient and sustainable economy through vocational education whilst encouraging learners to discover their talent and unlock their potential. Apprenticeships will be integral to this, providing the workforce of tomorrow with the skills they need to succeed. 

“In line with National Apprenticeship Week in February, City & Guilds launched Million Extra – our mission to help ensure one million people start an Apprenticeship by summer 2013. As part of Million Extra, we want to celebrate those employers who are already helping us achieve this. They set an exceptional example to other businesses and we hope they will inspire others to take on apprentices and put themselves forward for next year’s Top 100.”