Next Gen Makers – Excellent Employer

Bensons awarded the Engineering Apprenticeship Excellent Employer Kitemark Accreditation

There are many ingredients that make a company successful, they can change with sector and with time, however the one element that is essential to every business is their people.

Whilst the UK has recently become the eighth largest manufacturing nation in the world, and West Yorkshire remains a hotbed of manufacturing in the UK, there remains a skills gap in engineering and manufacturing in the UK, both locally and nationally.

So how does an ambitious, skills based company such as Bensons attract the talent we need into our business, in a competitive market place crying out for skills?

In simple terms, we need to be an excellent employer, a company where high-caliber candidates can see an opportunity to start and develop a successful career.

In 2023 Bensons joined the Next Gen Makers Excellent Employers Best Practice Scheme. Despite having run a successful apprenticeship scheme since 2019, we were aware through our involvement in the Leeds Manufacturing Festival that to stand out as an employer of choice locally, then we needed to develop the best apprenticeship scheme that we could.

The Best Practice scheme allowed us to

  • Benchmark our training programme against best in class, at a national level;
  • Learn from best practice;
  • Learn from the success of peers in industry; and,
  • Work towards a nationally recognised kite mark for our apprenticeship scheme.

On joining the Best Practice scheme, Bensons completed an initial benchmarking survey in the summer of 2023. In February of 2024 we committed to an independent and in-depth assessment of our apprenticeship scheme and the progress we had made. This review took input from our training providers, the internal improvements that we had made and most importantly, feedback from our apprentices themselves.

We are proud to say that at the conclusion of this process, Bensons has been awarded the Engineering Apprenticeship Excellent Employer Kitemark Accreditation. This accreditation is given to a select number of Engineering and Manufacturing businesses in the UK.

It is awarded to employers who have demonstrated, through a rigorous application and assessment process, that they have achieved a standard of excellence in / for their apprenticeship scheme.

But the work doesn’t stop there, in common with the ethos of continuous improvement that runs throughout Bensons, we are committed to developing our apprenticeship experience further and an annual re-accreditation.

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