Wiltshire-based heating and plumbing firm CentraHeat has received national recognition for its commitment to apprentices.
CentraHeat appears in the prestigious Centrica Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer list, which is compiled annually by the National Apprenticeship Service and recognises excellence in businesses that employ apprentices.
The list was announced at the National Apprenticeship Awards, which took place on 20 January at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
After a tough selection process the most exceptional apprenticeship employers from all the National Apprenticeship Awards employer categories went forward to feature in the list. In October, CentraHeat, based in Royal Wootton Bassett, was runner up at the South West Regional Apprenticeship Awards, for the Small Business Employer of the Year category.
The list showcases the breadth of employers who now offer apprenticeships. CentraHeat was set up in 2011 and has grown from a sole trader to a limited company with 11 employees. This growth has been supported and sustained by apprenticeships; of the seven engineers, three were taken on as apprentices.
“To be in the Top 100 list is a real honour, and an endorsement of our strategy of employing apprentices. I trained as an apprentice, so could see the value in nurturing home-grown talent,” said CentraHeat founder and managing director Lee Flanagan.
“Employing apprentices has enabled the company to grow with minimal external investment. Our apprentices are trained to our high standards and are great ambassadors. Indeed, the programme’s success has given us the confidence to keep to our growth plans.”
Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service said: “The Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer list 2016 demonstrates clearly the impact apprentices can have on an organisation. Apprentice employers are creating opportunities for individuals to gain the skills and knowledge needed to succeed, up to degree level, while working and earning.
“These Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers are making a difference to the lives of their apprentices by investing in their future. In return, apprentices are helping employers to develop a skilled, qualified workforce to build a stronger economy.
“I hope the success of these Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers will mean more businesses across England aspire to follow their example and to find out for themselves how apprenticeships help to grow a skilled and highly qualified workforce.”
Pictured above: Lee Flanagan, managing director of CentraHeat