SPP Pumps has been recognised as one of Thames Valley’s best Apprenticeship Employers in the regional final of the National Apprenticeship Awards 2013.
The company, a leading manufacturer of centrifugal pumps and systems, was awarded second place in the category of ‘Large Employer of the Year’ at a high profile ceremony held at the Madejski Stadium last week - beating off stiff competition from companies such as Virgin Media and Cisco Systems. With 15,000 entries nationally and 1,600 regionally SPP’s success is testament to its commitment to training, developing and motivating apprentices, many of whom go on to take on full-time positions within the business.
Gary Hurcombe, Site Services Manager for SPP, comments: “SPP is committed to providing quality solutions to customers where it really matters. Our Apprenticeship Scheme is an important part of this - we pick the best candidates, train them in all areas of our business and they become very much a part of our team. By developing the best expertise we can then offer the best support to customers, and we are delighted to receive recognition from the National Apprenticeship Service.”
Retention of skilled apprentices has enabled SPP to sustain progressive growth since 2003, resulting in an increase in turnover from £20m to £60m in 2013.
SPP’S Apprenticeship Scheme is about developing partnerships with individuals and organisations within the community, sharing best practice and working to make a difference to people and business. SPP apprentices also take on ambassadorial and charitable work.
Chris Blinman is an Engineering Team leader at SPP. “Six years ago I completed my apprenticeship and have progressed to Engineering Team Leader,” he says. “I am responsible for eight engineers, designing packages for the Oil & Gas industry worth £25-30m per annum. The experiences gained during my apprenticeship gave me the confidence and competence to achieve this role within SPP.”
Sam Elliott, Electrical Engineer, has also reaped the rewards of being an SPP apprentice. He said: "At age 19, with no real direction or career aspirations, SPP offered me an apprenticeship. With their support and backing I have attained the highest possible grades in all subjects and have been nominated for various awards, including outstanding apprentice in both the Forest and Gloucestershire business awards."
Gary Hurcombe concludes: “We are very proud of our apprentices and the passion they show to working for us. They make a huge contribution to our success and I have no doubt we’ll continue to run the scheme for many years to come. The National Apprenticeship Awards celebrate the achievements of the country’s most outstanding Apprenticeship employers. Xxxx, Divisional Apprenticeship Director for the National Apprenticeship Service, said:
“This year’s awards were an exceptional showcase of the outstanding apprentices and employers we have in our region. Given the high volume and extraordinary calibre of entries we received, those who reached the regional final really are the cream of the crop.
“I’d like to congratulate SPP Pumps - the company really is a shining example of how Apprenticeships can allow employers to grow their own talent and enables their apprentices to build real careers.”