Superior, a Dorset manufacturer of high integrity O-rings and seals, has been announced as a winner at the South West National Apprenticeship Awards 2016, winning the ‘Employer of the Year’ category.

Boasting its own company-run Academy, Superior offers apprenticeships to students from as young as 16, through to graduates, giving apprentices the chance to learn about engineering, science and manufacturing. The company currently has 20 apprentices going through the Academy, with students working in various roles that include design, manufacturing, maintenance, quality, process engineering, precision engineering and working in the laboratory.

The Academy was opened by the Duke of Kent and the Lord Lieutenant of Dorset in 2012 and has since gone from strength to strength. Manging director Tim Brown was awarded an MBE earlier this year for the company’s commitment to apprenticeships and charitable services.

Working closely in conjunction with local schools and colleges, Superior’s aim is to get students of all ages interested in engineering. The company frequently holds and attends special events with local schools, such as; mock interviews, career fairs and apprentice days.

On winning, Katie Bodman, head of training academy at Superior, said: “We’re so pleased to have been awarded Employer of the Year in the South West. We invest a lot of our time making sure Superior is a great place to work, and in particular making sure that our apprentices are supported to be able to flourish into senior roles.”

The Awards, now in their thirteenth year, are run by the National Apprenticeship Service and recognise businesses that grow their own talent with apprentices as well as the apprentices that make a significant contribution to these workplaces.

Sue Husband, director of the National Apprenticeship Service, said: “The Awards enable dedicated employers to receive the recognition they richly deserve. Superior winning ‘Employer of the Year’ at the South West ceremony is greatly deserved. I would like to congratulate them on their achievement.”

Superior and other award winners will now go on to compete for a place at the National Apprenticeship Awards final, which takes place in January. Competitors include URT Group Ltd (London & South East), River Canal Rescue (North West), Metal Craft (East) and Derry Building Services (Midlands).