Wimborne based Superior Seals demonstrated its support for Apprenticeships by being the first Dorset based business to sign up for Apprenticemakers.
Superior Seals is well placed to offer the benefit of its experience on the community; in 2009 it took on its first two engineering apprentices and having recognised their value and contribution to the business, rapidly developed its own Apprenticeship programme. The firm, which is a leading manufacturer of high integrity o-rings and seals, now takes on five new apprentices annually and has invested £1 million in a dedicated training academy.
Ben Clarke (pictured, front row, third from right), Quality Manager at Superior Seals said;
“We currently have 18 apprentices working throughout the company including positions in the tool room, sales, quality control, engineering and operations. This represents more than 10% of our workforce which is remarkable when you consider that its only a few years ago that our first apprentices joined but is testament to the value that we recognise within these individuals and the role they have to play. We work in partnership with Bournemouth and Poole College, with Superior Seals delivering the practical side (NVQ) and the college delivering the knowledge side, such as technical certificates”.
“Apprenticeships enable us to safeguard the specialist skills that we need within our company and allows us to plan for future demand and business developments. The academy provides us with a way of clearly demonstrating to our customers that we are making significant investments that will ensure we are able to support and grow with our customers.”
According to Ben, an online community such as Apprenticemakers is a useful tool for companies such as Superior Seals to share best practice and give practical and down-to-earth advice to other small and medium businesses looking to employ an apprentice. He said;
“Apprenticemakers will give business owners the opportunity to ask key questions, glean knowledge and connect with like-minded organisations which may be of a similar size, working in the same industry or at the same stage of business development as themselves. Sometimes it’s having this personal touch and more informal approach when researching the best options that can make all the difference.”
A former apprentice himself, Ben is keen to champion the importance of apprentices and set up Apprentices Mean Business, the apprentice ambassador network dedicated to the promotion of Apprenticeships as an outstanding career option in Dorset.
If you are a business in the Dorset area take a look at Apprentices Mean Business and follow @Apprentices_AMB on Twitter.