Make UK has partnered with support platform Next Gen Makers to develop a ground-breaking Engineering Apprenticeships Employer Kitemark, which will recognise companies who achieve a best practice benchmark, and thus endorse them as an exemplary employer of apprentices.
Launched on National Manufacturing Day (October 1), the kitemark will be available to companies that are part of the recently launched Engineering Apprenticeships: Best Practice Programme – a Make UK backed initiative designed to support manufacturers to overcome skills challenges and build talent for future success.
It is open to any UK engineering or manufacturing company that is running an engineering apprenticeship programme.
The feedback of current Apprentices and Training Providers is a key part of the criteria in awarding the kitemark to employers, in addition to the company being benchmarked against industry best practice on an annual basis during their journey within the programme.
The Engineering Apprenticeships: Best Practice Programme equips manufacturers with the tools they need to better plan for, attract and retain apprentices. It provides a host of best practice resources and peer to peer discussion forums to enable engineering and manufacturing firms of all sizes to replicate proven methods adopted by others that have successfully run apprenticeship schemes for some time.
Stephen Phipson, Make UK CEO, said: “It’s vital that would-be apprentices feel comfortable and confident when selecting an engineering employer, who will give them the right support and training throughout their apprenticeship and beyond.
“This kitemark complements and builds on the programmes that Make UK and Next Gen Makers have already developed which are key to helping place apprentices and enable employers to bridge the skills gap which is currently affecting the sector.”
Adam Tipper, Managing Director of Next Gen Makers, adds: “Across the UK, we have excellent examples of engineering firms that are running winning apprenticeship schemes and that are unaffected by the skills shortage as a result. We also have a large proportion of industry that would like to improve their ability to do so.
“There is so much potential in sharing best practice amongst manufacturers to realise this and for the benefit of all. The missing link is to then acknowledge those that achieve and maintain excellence – something which the Kitemark will do. Those awarded can proudly display the Kitemark as a reflection of their excellence in this area, as an employer of choice for young aspiring engineers.”