29 January 2024

New directory to recognise region's best employers for engineering apprenticeships


West Yorkshire’s very best employers for engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships are to be showcased in a new online directory being launched as part of the Leeds Manufacturing Festival.

The ‘Engineering Apprenticeships: Excellent Employers’ online directory – West Yorkshire will be launched by benchmarking and insight organisation Next Gen Makers in April, providing an invaluable guide for school careers advisers

It is the second of several regional iterations of the online platform set to launch nationwide. The West Yorkshire version follows the successful launch of a West Midlands directory in November 2023.

The goal is to create a platform to boost interest in engineering apprenticeships within companies across the region that are committed to creating opportunities for aspiring engineers – whilst helping companies to implement best practice methodologies into their apprenticeship schemes.

The free-to-access resource for school careers leaders is designed to help them to signpost students interested in finding companies for engineering apprenticeships to the best employers in their local areas, the kind of employers that go the extra mile in creating a great learning experience for engineering apprentices during their apprenticeship and creating quality opportunities for them beyond it.

Featured in the directory will be companies that have achieved the Make UK Engineering Apprenticeships Employer Kitemark – a national employer accreditation backed by manufacturing organisation Make UK and achieved via the Next Gen Makers Engineering Apprenticeships: Best Practice Programme.

The Kitemark has two levels, the Gold standard ‘Engineering Apprenticeships: Excellent Employer’ status and the Silver ‘Engineering Apprenticeships: Aspiring For Excellence’ status.

Leeds-based Kirkstall Precision Engineering (pictured above left) was one of the region's first employers to achieve the silver standard and the company is now working hard to achieve the 'excellent employer' gold standard. 

Kitemark accredited companies will be joined in the directory by those that are currently ‘Pursuing Accreditation’ and those that are ‘Benchmarking’ and best practice sharing, working towards ensuring their apprenticeship schemes are best in class via the Engineering Apprenticeships: Best Practice Programme.

Companies interested in being profiled within the directory are invited to learn more at an upcoming Information Webinar. There is a deadline of 11/3/24 for any company seeking to achieve kitemark accreditation in time for the launch of the directory

Via a collaboration with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, the directory will be made accessible to careers leaders within all schools across the region.

Next Gen Makers Managing Director Adam Tipper comments: “With an acute shortage of engineers in the UK, it is imperative that we attract young people to the sector, but also retain them once they start their engineering career via apprenticeships. However, government figures for apprenticeships show that hundreds of thousands of apprentices quit each year, because of a negative experience with employers.

“Engineering and manufacturing cannot afford such a talent drain, so it is imperative that we help companies that are committed to running engineering apprenticeship schemes to understand how to create the best possible apprentice experience within well-structured schemes. In turn, this will help them to retain the talent within their workforce during the apprenticeship and beyond.

Through the Next Gen Makers Engineering Apprenticeships: Best Practice Programme, engineering and manufacturing companies all over the UK can benchmark their approach to running their apprenticeship schemes against industry best practice, identify where to improve and learn from a community of like-minded firms to share best practice and ideas.

Employers interested in learning more are invited to attend an upcoming Information Webinar on 15/2/24 (12pm-12.30pm). Register here


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