Cheltenham electrical contractor joins UKAEA and MTC in top 100 apprenticeship employers

More than 50 per cent of Midland businesses worry about lack of skilled applicants for jobs

The Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers 2020 have been revealed and while the British Army secures the number one slot as the best apprenticeship employer in the country, a privately-owned electrical contracting company from Cheltenham has also made the list.

Clarkson Evans Ltd comes in at 46. The company started life as a family business in the eighties when Steve Evans, now Chairman, began trading as ‘S P Evans Electrical Contractor’ using his spare bedroom as an office.

Since then the company has grown, now employing upwards of 850 staff wiring new homes across England and Wales, including in Oxford, Crawley, Bracknell and Southampton. Clarkson Evans works with all the leading house builders and has won numerous awards for its encouragement and support for its apprentices.

The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry also makes the list, at no 53. Part of the UK’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK, the MTC developer innovative manufacturing processes and technologies in partnership with industry, academia and other institutions.

The MTC’s members include global manufacturing companies from multiple sectors. Research partners include the University of Birmingham, University of Nottingham, Loughborough University and TWI Ltd.

Kier Construction is also on the list. The construction company currently has more than 550 apprentices and offers apprenticeship opportunities across all areas of the business.

Chief executive, Andrew Davies, said: “It is vital that we continue to attract the best talent that best reflects the communities we serve. Through our apprenticeship offering and being placed on this list we are highlighting our commitment to offering high-quality opportunities that benefit a range of people, including those that are starting their career, those looking to change careers or anyone wanting to upskill.”

The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), based at Culham in Oxfordshire, also makes the list, at no 77. UKAEA’s award-winning apprenticeship scheme offers training in a variety of job roles to nationally recognised standards.

The scheme started in 2005 and originally focussed on Advanced Engineering apprenticeships. It has now expanded to provide apprenticeships in a wide range of additional areas (including finance, procurement, public relations, project management and human resources) to help UKAEA achieve its future talent needs.

Apprentices learn alongside experienced professionals, working on exciting and challenging projects in a supportive environment. The programme equips them with the skills and the qualifications they need to go straight into the workplace and succeed.

The Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers rankings celebrates 100 of the country’s most outstanding apprenticeship employers and is made up of employers from the public and private sector, and including industries such as engineering, banking, healthcare, retailing, local government, accountancy and employers from the charity sector,

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Gillian Keegan said: “A huge congratulations to all those businesses featured in the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers rankings. Apprenticeships help business of all sizes to grow, and give people of all ages and backgrounds a chance to learn new skills and get ahead in their chosen career.

“They will continue to play a vital role in delivering the skills individuals and the economy needs to thrive after coronavirus. I hope this initiative highlights the crucial role of apprenticeships in bringing in new talent & supporting our economic recovery, and encourages even more employers to get involved.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Now more than ever we should celebrate businesses who are driving our efforts to build a stronger, fairer, and more competitive economy.

“High-quality apprenticeships give people from all backgrounds and ages a real choice in life, providing them with the skills employers value, which our economy needs, and which lead to better paid jobs.

“These modern employers are at the heart of levelling up our workforce, and with the extra support we are providing will help the country build back better from coronavirus.”

The Top 10 Apprenticeship Employers for 2020 are:

  1. British Army
  2. HMRC
  3. Royal Navy
  4. BT
  5. MTR Elizabeth Line
  6. Mazars LLP
  7. Optionis Group
  8. Mitchells and Butlers
  9. Greene King
  10. Royal Air Force