Superior, a leading manufacturer of o-rings and seals based in Dorset, was invited to a ceremony at St James’s Palace on Wednesday October 31 to receive its Princess Royal Training Award.

HRH The Princess Royal commended 48 businesses around the country, including Superior, all recognised for their inspirational commitment to learning and development.

Superior was commended for its Apprenticeship Academy, which was set up in 2012 to address an ageing workforce and skills shortage in the local area. Superior’s on-site Academy offers apprenticeships to students as young as 16 and apprentices learn about engineering, science and manufacturing. All apprentices are given the opportunity to gain a degree.

Tim Brown MBE, managing director at Superior, Ben Clarke, ex-apprentice and now a senior manager at Superior and Katie Bodman, head of training Academy at Superior were all invited to visit the Palace to receive the Award.

Commenting on the visit to the Palace, Tim Brown said: “It was a privilege to be invited to St James’s Palace to be formally commended with other companies across the country that are investing in staff development. It was a real honour to be recognised for our contribution to apprenticeships.”

Ben Clarke commented: “We see the benefits from our Academy on a daily basis. I feel privileged that week in, week out, I have the opportunity to mentor and develop our apprentices into roles where they can reach their full potential. As a former apprentice myself, and having seen the Academy grow from the beginning, I am so proud that we have been recognised by HRH The Princess Royal.”

Commenting  on  the  Princess  Royal  Training  Awards,  Chris  Jones,  chief  executive  of  City  &  Guilds  Group, commented: “In  an  ever -changing  world,  it  continues  to  be  important  for  Britain’s  employers  to  invest  in  training  to  boost  their  productivity,  address  skills  gaps  and  further  develop  their  teams.

“It’s  great  to  see  such  a  diverse  group  of  organisations  achieving  the  Princess  Royal  Training  Award  standard  in  2018. I  congratulate  all  of  them  who  are  examples  of  the  innovative,  inspiring  and  impactful  training  that’s  taking  place  across  the  UK. They  are  truly  worthy  recipients  of  this  rigorously  assessed royal  award  and  we  are  delighted  to  be  able  to  honour  their  achievements.”

The Princess Royal Training Awards honoured five businesses in the South West, including:

  • Superior
  • Specsavers
  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • Somer Valley FM
  • Royal Air Force

Tim Brown, Ben Clarke and Katie Bodman of Superior joined other company representatives on Wednesday October 31 to receive royal recognition for commitment to learning and development. All the businesses were commended for their commitment to upskilling their workforces at a ceremony hosted by HRH Princess Anne.

The Princess Royal Training Awards, delivered by the City & Guilds Group, are now in their third year. Each of the 90 applications were assessed against three Hallmarks of Excellence by the Princess Royal Training Awards Commission, which comprised of HRH The Princess Royal and seven leading figures in the business and training community.

For more information about Superior and its Apprenticeship Academy, visit