Last week, the top 100 large employers and 50 SMEs across the country were recognised for their outstanding contributions to apprenticeship programmes.
Showcasing the very best apprenticeship programmes over the last 12 months, the table ranks employers for their commitment to diversifying apprenticeships and achievements, not just about the number of apprentices they take on.
Each company plays a crucial role in boosting the skills and career opportunities of individuals across all backgrounds, plugging the skills gap and helping the economy grow. We take a look at the top 100 apprenticeship employers and top 50 SME apprenticeship employers across Construction, Transport, Engineering and Energy & Utility industries.
Top Apprenticeship employers across Construction, Transport, Engineering and Energy & Utilities
Ranking 16th, we first start with Clarkson Evans, a construction company who have trained hundreds of electrical apprentices since establishing its first in-house training centre in 1998. Offering a level 3 apprenticeship, Clarkson Evans had 41.5% of employees as apprentices in March 2023, with 161 new apprentices onboarded from 2022 - 2023.
We then move on to Network Rail, which ranked 57th on the top 100 apprenticeship employers table. Network Rail has national apprenticeship schemes from level 2, all the way to level 7, where apprentices earn a competitive salary whilst studying towards qualifications. Network Rail had 4.7% of its employees as apprentices in March 2023, with 436 new apprentices onboarded from 2022 - 2023.
Redrow Homes, one of the largest British housebuilders, ranked 64th on the table. Offering levels 2 - 4 in apprenticeships, the home construction company had 13.2% of its employees as apprentices in March 2023, with 123 new apprentice starters in 2022 - 2023.
Ranking 68th, SE Trains Ltd offers apprenticeship levels from 2 to 7. The train operator had 7.3% of its employees as apprentices in March 2023, with 133 new apprentice starters in 2022 - 2023. SE Trains Ltd offer several rail industry-specific apprenticeships. Their apprenticeship scheme gives individuals the opportunity to achieve a nationally recognised qualification and earn whilst they learn.
Barratt Developments, one of the UK's largest residential property development companies, ranked 83rd on the table. Barratt Developments offers apprenticeship levels 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7. The company had 6.3% of its employees as apprentices, with 216 new apprentices starting from 2022 - 2023.
Ranking 85th on the top 100 apprenticeship employers table is EE Smith Contracts. The bespoke joinery and fit-out company offers apprenticeship levels 2, 3 & 6, with 11.9% of employees as apprentices, they welcomed 15 new starters from 2022 to 2023. EE Smith Contracts recently set up a successful on-site, London-based apprenticeship scheme.
Balfour Beatty, an international infrastructure group, ranked 91st on the table. The infrastructure group offers apprenticeships across levels 2 to 7. 4.4% of employees in the business are apprentices with the business welcoming 188 new apprentice starters from 2022 to 2023. Balfour Beatty offers individuals apprenticeships all around the UK, in all kinds of professional fields.
CrossCountry Trains ranked 94th on the table. With apprenticeship levels 2, 3, 4, 5 & 7, the company had 9.3% of its employees as apprentices in March 2023, with 94 new apprentices starting from 2022 to 2023. Cross Country Trains offers apprenticeships across several roles.
Ranking 99th is Pennon Group, an environmental utility infrastructure company. Pennon Group offers apprenticeship levels 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6, the company had 8.1% of its employees as apprentices in March 2023. Pennon welcomed 141 new starts from 2022 to 2023.
Gillian Keegan, Education Secretary commented on the top apprenticeship employers; "Congratulations to all the employers which have been recognised for their brilliant apprenticeship programmes.
My apprenticeship was my golden ticket to a successful business career. These employers in sectors from digital, childcare and healthcare recognise the benefits apprentices can bring to their business, helping to create a talent pipeline and filling skills gaps to grow the economy. I would encourage all businesses - no matter what size or sector - to follow their lead."
Top 50 SME Apprenticeship Employers across Construction
Taking the number 1 spot in the top 50 SME apprenticeship employers is Lee Marley Brickwork, the largest integrated brickwork, stonework and scaffolding sub-contractor in the UK. Lee Marley Brickwork has an apprenticeship scheme for apprentice and trainee scaffolders for those leaving school or looking for a career change.
Ranking 15th in the top 50 SME apprenticeship employers is Roe Brickwork, one of the leading brickwork contractors in England. They take pride in their Apprentice Training Scheme, by liaising closely with both the CITB and also local Colleges, to ensure that the right candidates get the right support both on-site and off-site.
Ranking 25th on the table is Darke and Taylor, who operate in several key strategic construction market sectors. The company has been engaged with apprenticeship schemes for over 40 years and during this time has offered jobs and training to more than 350 young school leavers looking to develop careers in the built environment.
Lyons & Annoot, one of the UK's leading specialist masonry contractors, ranked 26th on the table. Lyons & Annoot have a strong relationship with the CITB and Building Crafts College, Stratford, as well as other colleges. They strive to ensure that the training that all trade apprentices receive is relevant to the industry, as well as ensuring they are skilled in their chosen trade.
Ranking 33rd on the table is East Anglia Brickwork, Brickwork contractors currently covering Norfolk, Suffolk & Cambridgeshire. The company has an Apprenticeship Academy, bringing in a new generation of EAB Ltd-trained bricklayers, apprentices learn the best build methods/processes to provide East Anglia Brickwork clients with consistent, high-quality brickwork.
Moulton Roofing a family-run business established in 1995, ranked 47th on the table. The company offers apprenticeships in roof tiling and slating as well as assisting them with obtaining NVQ levels.
Ranking 49th on the table is ESG, a solution-focused company, providing low-risk, cost-effective pre-construction remediation services. The company offers apprenticeship schemes for roles across the business.
From construction to transport, engineering to energy and utilities, these industry leaders have demonstrated their unwavering commitment to fostering talent and providing apprentices with nationally recognised qualifications and valuable on-the-job experience. Their dedication serves as an inspiration to businesses of all sizes and sectors, emphasising the importance of apprenticeships.