Published: November 11, 2019 | Updated: November 11, 2019

Top accolade as family-owned company named best in the South West for apprenticeships

Liam Stratten, Head of Training at Superior (left), Manish Bhasin, presenter of the Made in the South West Awards; Katie Bodman, Head of Training Academy at Superior, and Natasha Nichols, a Superior apprentice.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A family-owned Dorset company has been named as the best manufacturing apprenticeship provider in the South West.

Superior, which is based on the Ferndown Industrial Estate, won the Manufacturing Apprenticeship/Training Scheme Award at the Insider Made in the South West Awards, held in Bristol.

The accolade recognises the manufacturing business which is judged to have done the most to further the cause of apprenticeships and general training and upskilling of its staff.

Others shortlisted in the category were Airbus, GKN Aerospace, Thatchers Cider and Bath ASU.

Katie Bodman, Head of Training Academy; Liam Stratten, Head of Training, and Natasha Nichols, one of Superior’s apprentices, took to the stage to pick up the trophy.

Outlining the reasons for declaring Superior as the winner, Manish Bhasin, the awards presenter, said: “For the size of the business, they’ve clearly made an impressive investment in apprenticeships, using apprentices to meet a real business need – bringing roles in-house that were previously outsourced.

“The judges were also impressed by the breadth of the apprenticeships on offer.”

Natasha Nichols, who was announced as Superior’s Apprentice of the Year earlier this year, was also listed as a finalist in the Made in the South West Awards Apprentice of the Year category of the awards.

Katie Bodman said: “We are so proud to have won the Manufacturing Apprenticeship/Training Scheme Award.

“We are pleased to offer a range of apprenticeships at our in-house academy, including manufacturing, accounts, IT, maintenance, business administration and sales.

“It is great for this to be recognised by the awards team.”

The Insider Made in the South West Awards event showcased manufacturing firms from across the region and aimed to champion their commitment to world-class quality and excellence.

Staged by South West Business Insider, it also highlighted the diversity of the industry ranging from aerospace and defence to artisan food and drink brands.

Superior, which was founded in 1972, has its own inhouse Apprenticeship Academy on-site which provides technical training and financial sponsorship for studying up to a master’s degree.

In 2009, the company recognised an ageing workforce and began to welcome apprenticeship applications.

Three years later it established the academy to ensure the skills base it requires can be found in the next workforce.

Superior designs, manufactures and supplies o-rings and special mouldings with a customer base which includes some of the world’s most renowned and respected manufacturing companies.