Leaders from across the UK’s advanced manufacturing and engineering industry gathered at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge tonight (Thursday 21st March) for the sixth annual Semta Skills Awards. The awards recognise and celebrate the brightest and best in UK engineering talent and the organisations championing skills development in this sector, which is the backbone of Britain’s economy.
Nine awards were presented to individuals, training providers and employers, recognising their achievements and contributions to supporting skills development within the UK advanced manufacturing and engineering sector, which employees 1.7 million people in the UK and is worth £309 billion to our economy.
Semta Skills Awards 2019 Winners:
Apprentice of the Year - SME Employer (sponsored by EAL): Kaylee McNally
Apprentice of the Year - Large Employer (sponsored by Coca-Cola European Partners): Glen Fraser
Graduate or Degree Apprentice of the Year (sponsored by BAE Systems plc): Robyn Clarke
Skills Champion of the Year (supported by Commercial Education Trust): Gareth Jenkins
Skills Innovation of the Year (sponsored by MBDA UK Limited): Bridgwater & Taunton College
SME Investment in Skills (sponsored by Jaguar Land Rover): Pentaxia Limited
Training Partner of the Year (sponsored by Rolls-Royce plc): Grwp Llandrillo Menai
Diversity in Engineering (sponsored by Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group): BAE Systems plc
Best of British Engineering (sponsored by the Ufi Charitable Trust): Pentaxia Limited
The big winner of the evening was Pentaxia Limited, an advanced composite manufacturing business from Derby, specialising in the aerospace, defence, luxury automotive and bespoke sectors. It took home the award for SME Investment in Skills, as well as the overall Best of British Engineering award, for making a special contribution to supporting skills development within the sector.
As well as recognising organisations like Pentaxia, that make advanced manufacturing and engineering one of the highest skilled sectors in the UK economy, the Semta Skills Awards also celebrated the exciting engineering talent the UK is producing. Kaylee McNally (an Engineering Apprentice at Arlington Automotive), Glen Fraser (an Engineering Technician Apprentice at BAE Systems plc, Naval Ships), and Robyn Clarke (an Undergraduate Quality Assurance Engineer at Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd.) also all picked up awards.
“I’m delighted to win, both for myself and Arlington Automotive,” said Kaylee McNally, winner of Apprentice of the Year from an SME Employer. “It will also massively help with my involvement in STEM activity, inspiring my peers and younger generations to enter this sector in the future.”
“Winning a Semta Skills Award proves to those who doubted me, and other young people in my situation, that a successful career in engineering with dyslexia or a learning disability is more than possible,” said Glen Fraser, winner of the Semta Skills Award for Apprentice of the Year from a Large Employer.
“Balancing my job roles with my academic studies has been challenging, so winning this award makes me really proud of my achievements and reinforces that all my hard work has been worthwhile,” said Robyn Clarke, winner of Graduate or Degree Apprentice of the Year. “This award will be a great talking point when I’m sharing my journey with young people looking towards a STEM career.”
Another individual recognised at the awards was Gareth Jenkins, Managing Director of FSG Tool & Die Ltd., who won Skills Champion of the Year for the work he’s done in creating opportunities in the manufacturing industry in Wales.
Training providers and employers were also celebrated at the Semta Skills Awards for their contributions to supporting skills development within the UK advanced manufacturing and engineering sector. Bridgwater & Taunton College won Skills Innovation of the Year for the hands-on practical experience it’s providing to apprentices in the nuclear sector, incorporating new technologies such as virtual and augmented reality.
Grwp Llandrillo Menai were awarded Training Partner of the Year, recognising the support it gives the economy of North Wales by equipping local people with the skills and qualifications needed to ensure the competitiveness and success of the region.
BAE Systems plc received the award for Diversity in Engineering for its culture change and outreach programmes that have increased the proportion of female engineering apprentices at BAE from around 5 percent 10 years ago, to 30 percent today.
Semta, The Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance, is a not-for-profit organisation responsible for engineering skills for the future of the UK's most advanced sectors. Led by employers, its job is to transform the skills and productivity of the people who power our engineering and advanced manufacturing technologies sectors, enabling UK industry to compete on the global stage.
“I am genuinely inspired when skills are exhibited to a high level, as showcased in tonight’s nominations,” said Dame Judith Hackitt DBE, Chair, Semta. “Seeing the brilliance on show, provides reassurance that engineering and manufacturing industries, which are the backbone of Britain’s economy, continue to pave the way in finding and supporting outstanding talent and offering exciting and rewarding careers to these talented people.”
“There’s no other sector that can be as agile, as innovative, as world-leading and as world-beating as advanced manufacturing and engineering,” said Ann Watson, Chief Executive, Semta. “It’s true, that one person can change the thought process of an industry. From Henry Ford to Bill Gates, engineers have been at the cutting edge of the greatest innovations of their time. We’re delighted that the future UK skills landscape has these pioneering employers and young talented engineers at its centre.”
The Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance, is a not-for-profit organisation responsible for engineering skills for the future of the UK's most advanced sectors. Led by employers, its job is to transform the skills and productivity of the people who power our engineering and advanced manufacturing technologies sectors, enabling UK industry to compete on the global stage.
Semta Skills Awards 2019 sponsors:
EAL - The specialist skills partner and awarding organisation for industry
Coca-Cola European Partners - A leader in one of the largest FMCG sectors in Europe's most significant markets.
BAE Systems plc - A global defence, aerospace and security company employing around 83,100 people worldwide.
Commercial Education Trust - CET is an independent charity which believes commercial education is essential to the development of young people, so they can thrive both at work and within society more widely.
MBDA UK Limited - The only European group capable of designing and producing missiles and missile systems to meet the whole range of current and future needs of the three armed forces.
Jaguar Land Rover - The UK's largest car manufacturer.
Rolls-Royce plc - A pre-eminent engineering company focused on world-class power and propulsion systems.
Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group - One of the world's most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies.
Ufi Charitable Trust - A grant-funding body focussed on delivering an increase in the scale of vocational learning.
Semta Skills Awards 2019 winners:
Kaylee McNally, Engineering Apprentice at Arlington Automotive.
Glen Fraser, Engineering Technician Apprentice at BAE Systems plc, Naval Ships.
Robyn Clarke, Undergraduate Quality Assurance Engineer at Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd.
Gareth Jenkins, Managing Director of FSG Tool & Die Ltd.