Region’s firms named on Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list for 2017

Rupert Sexton and Ashley Phillips of Maycast-Nokes Precision Engineering with their highly commended

Rupert Sexton and Ashley Phillips of Maycast-Nokes Precision Engineering with their highly commended award at the National Apprenticeship Awards 2017. - Credit: Archant

Businesses from Suffolk and north Essex have been named on the latest Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list.

The prestigious roll-call, which is compiled annually by the National Apprenticeship Service, was announced at the National Apprenticeship Awards, which took place in London on Thursday night.

East Anglian firms Greene King, Bury St Edmunds Cannine Creche, Maycast-Nokes Precision Engineering and Ginger Nut Media have been listed alongside blue chip companies like Mercedes Benz, BAE Systems and IBM, as companies who have shown a commitment to apprentices and high standards of excellence in employing them.

Aerospace and defence foundry Maycast-Nokes in Halstead, Essex, was highly commended at the Awards. Its sales director Dave Blower said at any one time around 10% of the company’s 130-strong workforce are apprentices.

He said: “We undertake a wide variety of complex casting and machining processes in-house, so our apprentices have to be well versed in a number of very different engineering disciplines. There are not that many aerospace companies in the area, so we strive to take on people at an early stage and train them for long careers with Maycast-Nokes that will hopefully see them go on to get jobs at supervisory and management levels.”

Bury St Edmunds-based brewer and pub operator Greene King has been a regular on the list over the years and across its business currently employs over 2,500 people working towards Level 2-4 apprenticeships.

Rooney Anand, Greene King’s chief executive, said: “We take our responsibility to develop our team members’ careers very seriously. Our apprenticeship programme goes from strength to strength as we continue to offer development opportunities for young people in hospitality.”

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Owner of Bury St Edmunds Cannine Creche, Jon Kay, started his business with two apprentices a year ago, has employed a third since then and is in the process of recruiting a fourth - all who are studying for qualifications in animal care management.

“I think the panel liked the fact that I have grown the business from the ground up with apprentices,” he said.

“Apprenticeships are a two-way thing - we invest in them and they learn skills which they put back into the business.”