Middlesbrough-based engineering company Intelect has been highlighted for its successful apprenticeship programme after being crowned regional winner of the SME Employer of the Year category at the North East National Apprenticeship Awards.
Intelect director John Thompson, himself a former apprentice, was thrilled to accept the award on behalf of the company and said: “Intelect is extremely honoured to have receive this award and to be recognised for the work we do when it comes to developing our apprentices. Our apprenticeship programme is the backbone of our recruitment strategy, and I would highly recommend apprenticeships to all employers.”
Entering their 16th year, the National Apprenticeship Awards celebrates the achievements of both apprentices, and employers with the aim of championing apprenticeships across England to inspire others to follow in their footsteps.
BCS, the chartered institute for IT, sponsors this category in the National Apprenticeship Awards because it recognises the significant role of SMEs within apprenticeships across all occupations and sectors.
The success came in the same week that Intelect welcomed its first intake of apprentices for 2019, following a victorious year of other prestigious award wins.
For over 20 years, apprenticeships have been at the heart of Intelect’s work force, encouraging growth and productivity in an industry that has seen an increased skills shortage over the years.
The business’s continued commitment to apprenticeships is championed by its four founding directors, all of whom were apprentice electricians in their early careers. They understand the value apprenticeships bring to the business, as well as the apprentice as an individual, as it gives them the chance to learn advanced skills through specialised on-the-job training.
Intelect has always operated a ‘train to retain’ ethos, and in the last five years has seen a retention rate of 91% of its apprentices. This year they welcomed their largest intake of apprentices, employing a total of eight new recruits across a range of sectors within the business, including accountancy, health and safety and numerous engineering roles.
As well as their commitment internally, Intelect continues to be an ambassador for apprenticeships within the wider community, working with local schools and organisations to promote the opportunities the region has to offer. Most recently, they became a corporate partner to the High Tide Foundation, a charity that provides life changing work experience opportunities to local aspiring students.
Director John Thompson added: “We have continuously invested in the young people of the North-East over the last 21 years and, in turn, it has allowed us to expand and grow our business in very demanding times. We are very much looking forward to representing the North-East in the upcoming national finals.”
Intelect will now go on to represent the North-East at the National Apprenticeship Awards final in London in November.