Sarah King, SMC Corporation UK: How benchmarking has benefitted our Apprenticeship scheme
Name: Sarah King
Position: Strategic HR Project Lead
Company: SMC Corporation UK
How has benchmarking as part of the Engineering Apprenticeships: Best Practice Programme benefitted you?
Benchmarking has been really useful for us, it has given us guidelines, enabled us to focus on what we could improve and enjoy what we are currently doing well. It gives you clear markers to aim for.
Do you believe your Apprenticeships Scheme has improved since you have been involved in the Programme?
We have definitely improved our Apprenticeship Scheme by being in the Engineering Apprenticeships: Best Practice Programme. Before we would think we were doing the right thing, but this has given us very strong guidelines to work towards and it has helped to engage the whole business. From top to bottom, we have got lots of different areas of the business involved to achieve what we wanted to.
How will having the Make UK Engineering Apprenticeships: Employer Kitemark benefit your company?
We are really proud to have the Gold standard ‘Excellent Employer’ status for the Make UK Engineering Apprenticeships: Employer Kitemark. It was a nice surprise that we had done so well, and it was a great experience. We can now use this Kitemark publicly and on our social media but more importantly it is a real sense of achievement for us because everyone has worked so hard to relaunch our Apprenticeship Scheme. It certainly helps us with recruitment and holds us to task as well, which I think is important to ensure we keep up the motivation.
Would you recommend other Engineering companies join the Engineering Apprenticeships: Best Practice Programme – and if so, why?
I would absolutely recommend companies do join the Engineering Apprenticeships: Best Practice Programme because it gives you such clear focus, whilst identifying the broad range of support that you need to be aware of. This helps us to pull things together, including things that we had never thought of before. We have been able to link everything up to make sure that the Apprentices are getting everything they need, not just the right training but the right business support too.
“It gives us such clear focus and helps us to pull things together, including things that we had never thought of before. We have linked everything up to make sure that Apprentices are getting everything they need, not just the right training but the right business support too”