Ford and its national dealer network have been announced as the South East regional winner for the Macro Employer of the Year category in the National Apprenticeship Awards 2013.
The winners across the region were announced during visits to each of the finalists in their workplaces by Vic Grimes, Divisional Apprenticeship Director for the National Apprenticeship Service, London and the South East.
At the Ford Dunton Technical Centre in Essex, Vic Grimes presented the award to Simon Palmer, Ford of Europe chief powertrain engineer, and spoke to a number of apprentices.
Vic Grimes, said: “This year’s awards are an exceptional showcase of the outstanding apprentices and employers we have in our region. I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Ford and their dealerships across the South East for this superb achievement. They are a shining example of how apprenticeships can help employers grow their own talent, and also enable apprentices to build rewarding careers. I would like to wish Ford the best of luck at the national final. They are a great ambassador for our region, and I’m sure their success will inspire others.”
Ford, together with its network of dealerships, and the support of recruiter and training provider Skillnet, currently has 1,000 Apprentices across multiple engineering, mechanical and non-technical disciplines.
Tessa Hougham, Ford of Britain apprenticeship manager, said: “We are delighted to have won this South East regional final award for Macro Employer of the Year.
"Ford, together with Skillnet, is committed to training and developing the future UK workforce, offering vocational career paths into engineering – where Apprentices grow and develop deep technical knowledge – as well as manufacturing and dealerships, through the Ford Masters Apprenticeship Programme.
“In addition, our new Higher Apprenticeship programmes in both engineering and finance provide a unique blended approach, both to learning and working, which enables direct application and reinforcement of new skills.”
Essex Auto Group Apprentice Joe Williams was invited to join the Ford team in accepting the awards. He commented: "This award is a testament to Ford's commitment to their apprenticeship schemes. As a Learner on the Ford Masters Apprenticeship Programme (FMAP), I have experienced training and support that has taught me to work confidently and professionally. I'm proud to be a part of the FMAP programme and plan to progress to more senior roles at Ford once I have completed my apprenticeship.”
Ford will now proceed through to a final national judging stage, the winner of which will have the additional honour of featuring in the acclaimed England’s Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list, produced by the National Apprenticeship Service in partnership with City & Guilds. The winner will be revealed during the opening ceremony of the UK’s largest national skills and careers event, The Skills Show, at the LG Arena in Birmingham on 14th November 2013.