Yamazaki Mazak UK has been crowned ‘Apprenticeship Employer of the Year’ for large businesses, at the recent Worcestershire Celebration Awards.
The Worcester-based company, which is one of the largest manufacturers of CNC machine tools in the world, has a lengthy history of training apprentices, going back more than 25 years. Mazak’s annual apprentice intake now numbers circa 20 apprentices every year, with new recruits working in a variety of roles across the business, from production engineering through to field service engineers and business administration roles.
From left to right: Dave King (Graduate Intern), Richard Austin (Production Director), Georgia Peters-Hough (second year Mechanical / Electrical Apprentice), Russell Hill (third year Mechanical Apprentice) and Guy Darby (third year Machining Apprentice).
All Mazak apprentices work towards National Vocational Qualifications with three routes available: technical, management or shop floor.
Dave Barnett, Learning and Development Manager at Yamazaki Mazak UK, comments: “Apprenticeships form a fundamental part of our Worcester operations. Over the years many of our most senior management team have started in apprentice roles before graduating to greater responsibilities. Mazak places a great deal of emphasis on measuring the success of our apprenticeship scheme to ensure all those taking part are able to gain as much as possible from the process. Currently the scheme is running at a 100 per cent qualification success rate, with a retention rate of 94 per cent.
“This award is a great accolade for the company, demonstrating our commitment to training the next generation of UK engineers.”
The WCA ‘Apprenticeship Employer of the Year’ award is the second award Mazak has collected in recent weeks, after one of its apprentices, Alex Stockwell, was announced as the ‘Best Senior Craft Engineer’ at the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Group Training Association awards.
Alex, who has worked for Mazak since September 2011, was chosen having excelled in all areas of his apprenticeship, so much so that he completed it a year early.
Mr Barnett continues: “Alex has been a fantastic asset to the company and has also proved to be an excellent role model for new apprentices who are just embarking on their career in manufacturing. His work ethic and his professionalism both on and off the shop floor is second to none, making him a worthy winner of this award and a brilliant ambassador for Yamazaki Mazak.”