Kirkstall Precision Engineering has recently been recognised as a top employer for engineering apprenticeships in the UK, awarded the prestigious Make UK Engineering Apprenticeships: Employer Kitemark Accreditation. This honour is a testament to the company’s unwavering commitment to excellence, an attribute that has been meticulously fostered within their Engineering Apprentices.
The Make UK Engineering Apprenticeships: Employer Kitemark is a highly regarded accreditation process that involves comprehensive benchmarking, Apprentice and Training Provider Survey feedback, spanning over a year. It enables organisations to enhance their apprenticeship scheme, attract young talent, and deliver a superior apprentice experience.
Kirkstall Precision’s achievement on the first attempt is a significant landmark, which illuminates their dedication to providing a robust and enriching apprentice training program. Their commitment to nurturing the next generation of engineering talent has been substantially recognised, thanks to the invaluable feedback from their existing Engineering Apprentices.
Two standout apprentices at Kirkstall Precision, Kalum Downey and Cameron Pinder, recently gained attention for their nominations at the Leeds Manufacturing Festival awards. Kalum, a vital part of the CNC turning team, won the Future Manufacturing Leader Award, with his extraordinary leadership skills and consistent delivery of high-quality work earning him this recognition.
Reflecting on his win, Kalum noted: “It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication I’ve put into my training, as well as the support and guidance I’ve received from my colleagues and mentors.”
Meanwhile, Cameron Pinder won second place for the Apprentice of the Year award. Cameron, eager to continue his growth and push boundaries further, stated, “It’s not about winning, but rather about the journey and the knowledge gained along the way.”
The accolades received over the past two years affirm Kirkstall Precision’s efforts to bridge the skills gap in UK manufacturing. The company’s proactive approach, coupled with partnerships with institutes like UTC Leeds and Leeds City College, has been pivotal in their success. Kirkstall Precision’s focus is not just providing apprenticeships but investing in their development and fostering a culture of continuous learning.
Kirkstall Precision’s Managing Director, Iqbal Bahia, reaffirmed the company’s commitment to talent development, especially in the evolving landscape of manufacturing, with the rise of robotics and automation. “We remain committed to investing in the development of our people and staying ahead of the curve to ensure that we continue to be leaders in our industry,” he said.
A Plant & Works Engineering survey conducted in August 2021 revealed that over half of the UK’s engineering design firms were experiencing skills shortages. At Kirkstall Precision, the company views such challenges as industry-wide, necessitating in-depth knowledge and training for high-standard achievement.
However, Kirkstall Precision remains undeterred, continually seeking proactive solutions to nurture the next generation of precision engineering talent. This approach is grounded in their ‘share and learn’ policy, which has instilled a deep culture of support within the company.
The KPE apprentice academy, Kirkstall Precision’s in-house initiative, demonstrates their commitment to ‘home-growing’ talent. By investing in young individuals, they ensure a steady stream of professionals ready to uphold the company’s standards.
Simultaneously, the company’s graduate recruitment initiative represents another step in bolstering their workforce. This programme allows Kirkstall Precision to remain at the forefront of engineering innovation, pushing existing team members to elevate their standards.
Addressing the skills shortage issue, Kirkstall Precision’s CEO Adam Thornton stated, “Skills, unlike machinery, cannot be replaced overnight and so constantly looking for ways to keep our skill base topped-up is a vital aspect of the work we do every day here at Kirkstall Precision Engineering. It ensures we remain relevant and ready for any challenge our clients throw at us.”
In essence, Kirkstall Precision Engineering, through our unwavering commitment to excellence and its innovative approaches, is undoubtedly at the forefront of bridging the skills gap and cultivating the next generation of engineering talent in the UK. Our recognition by the Make UK Engineering Apprenticeships: Employer Kitemark Accreditation is a testament to our dedication and hard work, marking us out as a true beacon in the field.