Johnston Sweepers is continuing to thrive a year on after winning the Apprenticeship Scheme of the Year title at the Toast Of Surrey Business Awards 2014.
Johnston is exceptionally proud of its apprenticeship scheme which since the 1920s has trained and mentored hundreds of young people, nurturing and encouraging new engineering talents.
A spokesman said: “On the night of the awards ceremony, there was a fantastic atmosphere as the winners were announced.
“When Johnston Sweepers was named the winner of the Apprenticeship Scheme of the Year, we were absolutely thrilled – and made a lot of noise.
“Some of our apprentices, current and past, attended the ceremony and it was a particularly proud moment for them to be part of the award receiving team.
“Since winning the award, Johnston’s Apprenticeship Scheme has continued to thrive and we are currently guiding and supporting 23 young people through to their BTECH and NVQ qualifications in welding, fabrication and mechanical engineering.
“And spurred on by the Toast of Surrey Awards, we have also taken on our first apprentice in purchasing and logistics.”
Since winning the award, the business ran a second welding academy programme in which 14 Surrey trainee welders were taken on and given three months’ free training in the art of welding, with each trainee achieving their qualifications given a permanent job in Johnston Sweepers’ busy welding shop.
In addition, the business sponsors a BEng Mechanical Engineering undergraduate each year, offering a fully-paid final year placement as part of their degree. Johnston Sweepers say that many have returned to Johnston full-time after graduating and the business goes on supporting them to further their studies.
The apprentices even received a visit from HRH The Duke of Kent to its Dorking factory to open a new £11m manufacturing facility last November.
The royal visit was also in support of the company’s apprenticeship scheme, with the Duke seeing various stages of the production process.
Added the spokesman: “One of the most positive aspect of winning he award is it has increased awareness of Johnston Sweepers in the local area.
“As the largest engineering firm in Dorking, employing 450 staff, it has been very helpful as a means of demonstrating our commitment to developing young engineering talent and to tell people about our range of outdoor street sweeping products, which are sold all over the world, so we would certainly encourage other businesses to take part.”