A local company has been named a British manufacturing champion after scooping a prestigious national business award at the EEF Future Manufacturing Awards held in London last week.

Wimborne-based Superior, a leading manufacturer of high integrity o-rings and seals, which employs 199 people, took gold in the Developing People Award, sponsored by Jonathan Lee Recruitment. This award recognises the manufacturer that has done the most to build skills, harness talent and develop its employees.

Superior was selected by a panel of judges drawn from business leaders, industry experts and academics and was up against tough competition from a range of dynamic businesses, small and large, from across the UK.

Judges were impressed with its success at developing employees through a clear strategy backed up by passion and enthusiasm. Judges said that the company’s commitment to its people and local community was an example to other businesses.

Superior was the first Dorset-based business to sign up for Apprenticemakers. In 2009 it took on its first two engineering apprentices and then went on to develop its own apprenticeship programme. It now takes on five new apprentices a year and has invested £1 million in a dedicated training academy.

The company was also recently named a Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer in The Sunday Telegraph.

Katie Bodman, Head of Training Academy at Superior, says: “It’s the people that make our business the success that it is and we are committed to creating a culture where they feel able to thrive and grow. Whether the newest of apprentices or somebody looking forward to retirement, it’s important that people feel supported and motivated. It’s great to see our efforts recognised.”

Jonathan Lee, Chairman at Jonathan Lee Recruitment, says: “Staff are a critical part of a winning business formula. This is why it’s so important that firms constantly push ahead with fresh ideas and new ways to encourage staff to develop and learn. Superior justly deserves this award in recognition for its great work and innovation in this field.”

For more information about the awards visit: www.eef.org.uk/awards/.