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Enginuity Skills Awards 2024 winners announced

Posted on 11 Jun 2024. Edited: Tony Miles. Read 320 times.
Enginuity Skills Awards 2024 winners announcedJamie Clarke receives the Best of British Engineering Award

Leaders from across the UK’s engineering and manufacturing sector gathered at the 10th annual Enginuity Skills Awards last week to celebrate the brightest and best in UK engineering and manufacturing talent and the organisations championing skills development to ensure a bright future for this sector, which is the backbone of the UK economy The ceremony was attended by West Midlands Deputy Lieutenant Professor Sir Nigel Thrift.

Run by Enginuity, the charity dedicated to closing skills gaps in UK engineering and manufacturing, the ceremony was hosted by Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and award-winning broadcaster Steph McGovern at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, during Smart Manufacturing and Engineering Week.

Jamie Clarke, a maintenance apprentice at LISI Aerospace Rugby, picked up not only the Advanced Level Apprentice of the Year award but also the largest prize of the evening — the Best of British Engineering Award.

The Advanced Level Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by UCAS< recognises an apprentice whose dedication to learning and skill development has positively impacted their workplace and who serves as a role model to inspire others towards careers in engineering and manufacturing. Jamie has overcome challenges such as dyslexia and health issues to pursue his dream of becoming an engineer.

He impressed the judges with the contributions he has made to his employer through productivity enhancements, training rig designs, safety improvements, and troubleshooting. He also promotes skills as a training instructor for engineering at the Sea Cadets unit in Coventry and as a STEM ambassador. Jamie said: “Engineering is important to me as my grandad was an electrical engineer. It is hard to put into words what winning this award means to me.”

Valued contribution

Meanwhile, Graduate, Degree or Higher Level Apprentice of the Year — sponsored by Teesside University, was won by Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) apprentice Yusaf Mumtaz. This category is dedicated to apprentices whose commitment, innovative thinking, and skills are making a valued contribution to their workplaces and wider industry.

Yusuf has made a significant contribution to JLR through his data analysis and engineering skills, which included taking ownership of a sustainability project, the findings of which he presented to over 900 of his colleagues. Yusuf also promotes apprenticeships in engineering both through Jaguar Land Rover and by creating his own aspiring apprentice network in Birmingham. He said: “When I started this apprenticeship there was definitely a feeling of imposter syndrome as it was my first professional place of work. Winning this award solidifies that I belong here and that I am providing value to my employer.”

T Level Student of the Year, sponsored by BAE Systems was won by Elliott Barton at Barnsley College. This award goes to a student whose commitment to learning and skills development in both education and the workplace makes them an inspiring role model for careers in engineering and manufacturing.

Elliot impressed the judges with how he is excelling both academically and professionally. He is driven by a passion for practical skills development and industry relevance, showcasing the value of T Levels in preparing for successful careers. Elliot also promotes engineering and manufacturing to others and aspires to work in network engineering and cybersecurity consultancy.

He said: “Computing is now present through virtually every moment of our lives which is what inspires me to understand how things work and how they can work with other things. Winning this award highlights the hard work and effort that I have put into this course and encourages me to develop my skills further.”

Special educational needs

Meanwhile, the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Award - sponsored by Rolls-Royce was won by Virtual Work Experience Programme, Siemens Digital Industries. This award celebrates organisations or teams that have made a significant contribution to improving and increasing equality, diversity, and inclusion in engineering and manufacturing. This programme addresses under representation by engaging a diverse range of students, including females, those from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, individuals with special educational needs or disabilities, and carers.

Amy Morris, a sustainability graduate at Siemens Digital Industries, said: “I think this will contribute to creating a diverse talent pipeline, as it is accessible to students who might not have had an opportunity to engage in work experience with Siemens. It also gives people a realistic taste of what hybrid working environments are like.”

Training Partner Skills Champion of the Year - sponsored by EAL was won by Gloucestershire Engineering Training. This category recognises partnerships between providers and employers where a commitment to learning and skills development supports sustainable engineering and manufacturing growth. In partnership with local SMEs, Gloucestershire Engineering Training has successfully addressed a skills gap in the Forest of Dean by opening a training centre in September 2023.

The centre already has impressive apprentice retention, completion rates, and specialised training delivery. Future plans include expanding the centre’s training opportunities and community engagement to further close skills gaps in the engineering sector.

Warren Thomas, Gloucestershire Engineering Training CEO, said: “There has not been anything to support engineering and manufacturing skills in the Forest of Dean in 26 years, so we have had to work closely with local employers, especially SMES, who might not have run apprenticeships in a long time. This is a massive recognition of all the effort the wider team has invested to get this centre working in such as short space of time to support local employer needs.”

SME Employer Skills Champion of the Year — sponsored by Innovate UK was won by C Brandauer & Co Ltd. This category is focused on engineering or manufacturing SME employers with an outstanding commitment to sustainable business improvement through learning and development. 

Transfer of essential skills

The judges were impressed by Brandauer launching the UK’s first Precision Tooling Academy to ensure the transfer of essential skills from an aging workforce to a younger generation. The company has invested £1 million to create a commercial toolroom, and reshaped its apprenticeship approach, contributing to business growth and increased turnover. Brandauer has also contributed to STEM education initiatives like the MAN Group's Design and Make Challenge.

Rowan Crozier, Brandauer chief executive, said: “Promoting engineering skills is a lifelong challenge that we approach on numerous levels. Being recognised for that is great, but we invest in skills development because it is part of the DNA of our business.”

Large Employer Skills Champion of the Year – sponsored by Fanuc UK Ltd was won by KMF Precision Sheet Metal Ltd. This award is presented to a large engineering or manufacturing employer with an outstanding commitment to sustainable business improvement through learning and development.  

KMF picked up the trophy for its outstanding collaborative efforts, work experience programmes and apprenticeship offerings. These have resulted in increased and more diverse recruitment, and plans being put in place for sustainable skills development. In 2010, the company set up a Young Engineer of the Year programme working with year 10 students across all the high schools in Stoke-on-Trent. Over the past 14 years this has seen them work with more than 25,000 young people while investing over £1 million in STEM projects and equipment for schools.

Jenny Johnston, KMF Group people and culture manager, said: “This award is recognition of what can be achieved with engineering and manufacturing skills in an area of deprivation and the effort that has gone into KMF setting up as an apprenticeship employer-provider.”

Finally, the Best of British Engineering Award – sponsored by Enginuity and
decided on the evening of the ceremony, from the individual winners of the above categories — was won by Jamie Clarke at LISI Aerospace Rugby. 

Ann Watson, chief executive of Enginuity, said: “To close skills gaps in UK engineering and manufacturing, it is vital that we inspire people with the careers available in engineering and manufacturing and share best practice in skills development. I would like to thank all our nominees and winners for continuing a 10-year tradition of showcasing UK skills excellence and champions.”

Other supporting partners of the Enginuity Skills Awards 2024 include EDT, The Manufacturer, Siemens plc, KMF, Manufacturing Technology Centre, and Kontent.ai.