Engineering apprenticeship employer Kitemark Accreditation helping firms to differentiate


The UK STEM sector currently has a shortfall of around 173,000 workers – an average of 10 unfulfilled roles per business – according to a recent IET skills survey.

Recruiting experienced engineers has become difficult for many manufacturers, leading to an increasing number of companies establishing or scaling apprenticeship schemes to ‘grow their own talent’.

However, a higher volume of companies seeking to recruit apprentices has served to increase competition for young people, placing more emphasis on engineering and manufacturing firms differentiating their employer brand and apprenticeship scheme from alternatives in their local area.

With considerably less promotion of engineering as a career of choice within UK schools when compared with other European countries such as Germany for example, UK engineering firms are not exactly blessed with a huge pipeline of young people aspiring to join the profession.

So how are manufacturers overcoming this challenge?

Fortunately for some, holding a national Kitemark Accreditation which recognises excellent employers for engineering apprenticeships is proving to be a significant differentiator in their quest to attract talent into the apprenticeship scheme.

The Make UK Engineering Apprenticeships: Employer Kitemark was launched on National Manufacturing Day 2021 by national manufacturing body Make UK and the benchmarking and best practice sharing organisation Next Gen Makers.

Since the launch, a wide range of firms including Teledyne E2V, Cummins Inc, Veolia Water Technologies, Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems (UK), Thyssenkrupp Materials, KUKA UK, Weir Group, Wienerberger UK, Thomas Dudley, Eminox, Ishida Europe and Fablink Group have successfully achieved the Kitemark Accreditation.

They join the likes of Siemens Digital Industries, Renishaw, LISI Aerospace and many more that are set to receive the Accreditation in June 2023, which will act as a ‘badge of honour’ that supports their quest to inspire young people to start a career with them.

David Rose, Head of Quality at KUKA UK comments: “We are proud to be recognised as an exemplar employer of Engineering Apprentices, which further enhances the excellent reputation that our apprenticeship scheme has”.

Group Head of HR Clare Henessey at Fablink Group adds: “Apprentices are the future of our workforce. The Kitemark demonstrates to external company’s and potential employees the commitment we have to our future workforce”.

To achieve Kitemark Accreditation, companies that have undergone a 12-month accreditation process that includes satisfaction surveys of existing engineering apprentices and benchmarking of the company’s apprenticeship scheme against industry best practices.

Ran by Next Gen Makers as part of their Engineering Apprenticeships: Best Practice Programme initiative, the Kitemark Accreditation recognises firms that ‘go the extra mile’ in creating a great apprentice experience for the engineers of the future.

Companies are recognised with either the Gold standard Excellent Employer Kitemark status, or the Silver standard Aspiring for Excellence status – helping them to differentiate and stand out as attractive employers for potential engineering apprentices moving forward.

Engineering and manufacturing firms with more than two current engineering related apprentices are now invited to express interest in joining the June 2023 cohort of companies pursuing the Accreditation; with a deadline for enrolment of 31st May 2023 and the Kitemark being achieved in June 2024.

If you are interested in speaking to a member of the team about the Make UK Engineering Apprenticeships: Employer Kitemark, please email [email protected]

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