AMADA UK has been crowned ‘Large Employer of the Year 2017’ (sponsored by Sanctuary Group) at the prestigious Worcestershire Apprenticeships Awards. At a glittering awards ceremony in front of 300 people, AMADA was announced as victorious ahead of a high-profile list of shortlisted companies from the region. The award is seen as recognition for the company’s highly successful apprenticeship programme, which has been in place since 2006.
At present, AMADA employs 17 apprentices, mostly in engineering, but also in accountancy and business administration schemes. The programme supports AMADA UK’s mantra of “growing our own talent pool” providing management candidates of the future with “AMADA DNA”.
AMADA currently offers a Level 3 Advanced Technical Engineering programme that takes four years to complete. Apprentices combine rotation around the various engineering departments at AMADA UK, with working towards qualifications that include Mechatronics pathway on the new Engineering standard, AMADA NVQ level 3 and, ultimately, a HNC in Mechanical Engineering. Accountancy apprentices instead study the AAT qualification.
During their time in each department, apprentices are allocated a mentor who ensures that training is delivered in line with the programme. AMADA has been delighted with the progress of its apprenticeship and hopes to develop it further in 2018.
Jack Cleaver, who is in year-three of the scheme and is AMADA UK’s current Apprentice of the Year, says: “AMADA’s apprenticeship is beneficial from day one. The on-the-job training is unparalleled and the responsibility we are given is as if we’re already qualified. Partnered with the external training and accreditation, we are guaranteed a successful and fruitful career.”
The success of each AMADA apprenticeship programme is measured by the offer of permanent employment at the end of the scheme. Here, the company is proud to confirm that it has employed 100% of its graduated apprentices to date. The ongoing success of the programme can be attributed in no small measure to Wendy White, Human Resources Manager at AMADA UK, who herself is a recent award winner having been named 2017 Apprentice Champion by the Worcestershire Training Group Association.
AMADA’s Managing Director Alan Parrott is also a strong advocate of the scheme as it helps drive internal promotion and recruitment; some 97% of the company’s managerial positions are held by employees who have been promoted internally. “Apprenticeships are the foundation of our corporate strategy to develop from within,” he says. “They provide a unique four-year opportunity to understand the philosophy of our customer-focused business. I can really imagine one of these apprentices taking my role in the future”.
Since 2012, the main focus of apprentice training has been in the pre-owned machine department, where used AMADA machines are refurbished. This strategy has proved to be a successful training ground for apprentices in terms of their training and development. Each apprentice is assigned a project that involves stripping a machine, replacing worn parts, cleaning, spraying, re-assembling and testing. At the end of the project, apprentices even help to install the machine at the new owner’s premises, instilling an enormous sense of project ownership and achievement.
Ultimately, AMADA UK remains firmly committed to the continued support of its apprenticeship programme and the development of future talent. The company’s apprentices are viewed as genuine business assets who contribute significantly to AMADA’s ongoing success.