Tuesday, August 14, 2018

News: Rotherham-based apprentices up for awards

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Finalists from Rotherham are progressing to the next stage of the National Apprenticeship Awards.

Now in their 15th year, the National Apprenticeship Awards showcase the diverse and growing range of sectors engaged with apprenticeships, whilst celebrating outstanding apprentices, employers and individuals who go above and beyond to champion apprenticeships across England.

Liberty Speciality Steels is a regional employer of the year finalist for Yorkshire and the Humber.

Oliver Marsh from MGB Plastics (pictured, tip) has reached the regional final for an individual award.

The awards were open to apprentices, individuals who promote apprenticeships and employers of all sizes from all sectors. The refreshed array of categories for 2018 has given additional opportunities for entrants to demonstrate the impact apprenticeships has made to individual's lives and their workplaces. Those shortlisted are apprenticeship exemplars, highlighting best practice across recruitment excellence, high quality training practices, diversity and career progression.

The Liberty Speciality Steels business was named in the Centrica Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer 2017. It signed a deal with The Sheffield College to train 50 new apprentices for its plants at Stocksbridge and Rotherham.

The company has in-house apprentice training facilities at Stocksbridge steelworks which is now an industry-based campus enabling the college to deliver both practical and theoretical learning.

A regional finalist last year, Speciality Steels won the large employer award in 2014 and were runners up in 2013 and 2012.

In May, Liberty's Joseph Briggs won the coveted national title of Metals Industry Apprentice of the Year 2018 in recognition of his "exceptional development, high-level skills and commitment to progression in the metals industry."

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Across the borough, Oliver Marsh, a University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre apprentice working at MGB, part of the OnePlastics group, is no stranger to award success. The Barnsley-born technical apprentice has previously been recognised for his work in improving the moulding process at the Barbot Hall Industrial Estate facility that produces around two million wheelie bins per year.

Bosses estimated that Marsh's application of lean principles is saving the business in excess of £137,000 a year by getting plate changes down to just 34 seconds from ten minutes.

Keith Smith, director, apprenticeships group, at the Education and Skills Funding Agency, said: "The National Apprenticeship Awards recognise excellence in businesses that grow their own talent with apprenticeships, and apprentices who have made, and keep making, a significant contribution to their workplaces and these awards enable both employers and individuals to showcase how apprenticeships have made a real difference to their organisation and career.

"I am thrilled that so many outstanding applications were made – eclipsing the phenomenal number of entries we've had in the past. Judges have had a difficult time selecting the finalists as the applications were outstanding; highlighting perfectly the many benefits apprenticeships bring to the lives of individuals and to our employers.

"I thank everyone for entering; thank judges for their time volunteering to assist with the process and I wish all finalists the very best of luck at the regional ceremony."

Liberty Speciality Steels website
MGB website

Images: AMRC / Liberty Speciality Steel

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