Dale Power Solutions has won the British Army Award for Large Employer of the Year 2017 at the National Apprentices Awards. Beating Home Group and Volvo Group UK and Eire in the final.
The business is also included in the prestigious Centrica Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer List 2017, which is compiled annually by the National Apprenticeship Service and recognises excellence in businesses that employ apprentices.
The apprenticeship programme at Dale is in its tenth year and has apprentices working at all levels within the business. The current cohort is aged between 16 and 27 and includes an ex-professional dancer, candidates with poor GCSE results alongside A* A level achievers. 32% of the apprentices are female, many working in engineering roles, and 9% of the workforce are currently in apprenticeships. The business is very active in the local community, working with schools and colleges to share information about apprenticeships and promote opportunities to young people.
Mark Carter, Business Support Manager at Dale Power Solutions explains, “This is a pioneering programme; often there is not a suitable apprenticeship available and so we work closely with training providers, thinking “out of the box” to create suitable apprenticeships, such as Quality Assurance and Health and Safety, in addition to engineering. Our female apprentices promote apprenticeships in schools and colleges by telling their stories. This has resulted in naturally attracting women into engineering roles once considered a male environment.
“Scarborough is one of 12 identified coldspots in the UK for social mobility and we are a cornerstone employer working with The Careers & Enterprise Company as part of a government initiative to combat the challenges faced by young people in our local community. We do this through careers events, one to one mentoring, help with CV writing and interview techniques. Over the last 12 months we estimate we have reached over 10,000 young people, parents and educators.”
Dale Power Solutions’ apprentice Hannah Magowan was also named as one of the top three Advanced Apprentices in the UK when she was highly commended at the awards ceremony. 18-year-old Hannah joined Dale at the age of 16 after leaving college with 11 A and A* GCSEs. Her apprenticeship involves rotating around different engineering departments at Dale before choosing an engineering specialism.
Commenting on her success Hannah said, “I was delighted to win the regional award and to go on and receive a highly commended at the National Apprenticeship Awards final is fantastic. Since joining Dale Power Solutions I have been given a wide range of opportunities to learn and show my capabilities throughout the workplace. I learn practically on the job and earn whilst gaining qualifications relevant to my work. Being able to have such great experience at my age is invaluable.
“I have many opportunities available in the future, I wish to complete my Advanced apprenticeship gaining my level 2 and 3 qualifications in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and then start a higher apprenticeship to gain my level 4 and 5 qualifications. I intend to continue rotating around the departments of the business to get a full picture and appreciation of how the business operates, and fill a position in the area where I am not only a valuable asset to the company but making a positive change to its future.”
Hannah is an active member of the Dale Apprentice Ambassador team who work with schools and colleges to provide information on apprenticeships to young learners, teachers and parents. She explains why this is important.
“I am passionate about promoting apprenticeships in particular engineering to young women who perhaps are not aware of the opportunities available to them. It’s only two years since I left school so I think my story is very relevant to school leavers and hopefully I can help them to make more informed decisions about their futures.”
Tim Wilkins, CEO at Dale Power Solutions commented on the double success. “We are all very proud of Hannah for being recognised at such a high level. She is a bright, hard working member of the team and this is well deserved. It’s great to see more women fulfilling their potential in engineering and Hannah is a great role model for young women.
“Our apprenticeship programme is central to the success and sustainability of our business. Enabling our apprentices fulfil their potential is a business priority and their work in local schools and colleges is very important to help combat the problem of poor social mobility faced by young people our local community. To win the title of Large Employer 2017 in this field is a great accomplishment and a credit to everyone at Dale.”
The prestigious national awards ceremony took place at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, on 18th January.