Canal-Engineering---SME-Investment-in-Skills-pic1Nottingham company wins Enginuity Skills Award

A Nottingham company’s decision to grow its own skills has paid off in more ways than one after it picked up a prestigious award.

Canal Engineering – an EAL Recognised Centre - won the SME Investment in Skills award, sponsored by Jaguar Land Rover, last night, beating off strong competition at the Enginuity Skills Awards, celebrated with a gala dinner in London’s Hilton Hotel on Park Lane hosted by BBC journalist, presenter and engineering advocate, Steph McGovern.

Andrew Lord, a project manager at Canal Engineering, who picked up the award, said: “We are delighted to win this award. We have an open-minded attitude to fostering young talent into the engineering sector and this award recognises this.”

Gary Glynne, Canal’s Training Academy manager, said they realised something needed to be done with an average age among employees of 55 and the youngest at 27.

“We had to address the issues of skills,” said Gary. “The decision was taken to invest over £100,000 of our money in a training academy to benefit both Canal and the wider business community.”

It included investing in a scheme for those on the unemployment register, giving opportunities to take an NVQ in welding to give them the skills they need to make a start in the industry.

“Of the 300 unemployed people we have trained to date, 52% of those who complete the scheme have gone into engineering – not just at Canal but into other local businesses,” said Gary.

“In 2013 the average age on the shop floor was 55 so at most we had 10 years of business operation so continuity was under threat. We have now got 10 apprentices and the average age of the workforce is reduced to 44.”

Canal Engineering’s Training Academy is an EAL accredited welding and fabrication centre for all abilities from 16 years old.

As well as apprenticeships, existing employees have undergone upskilling at the academy which has contributed to a six per cent increase in turnover.

Gary added: “We are passionate about skills; we recognise we have to grow our own. We have put our money where our mouth is but not only are we growing our own, we are helping some of our competitors to grow too.”

Ann Watson, CEO of Enginuity , the not-for-profit organisation tasked with skilling engineering and manufacturing in the UK said: “Canal is fully deserving of this award. The directors recognised there was an issue and invested considerable sums of money to grow their own skills.

“They have created an apprenticeship programme to benefit themselves and their competitors, while supporting 152 previously unemployed people into engineering careers in the last three years. It is a fantastic success story which provides inspiration to other SMEs as they look to tackle their own skills shortages.”

Canal Engineering - SME Investment in Skills, Enginuity Skills Awards 2016

Hundreds of nominations from across the UK for the nine categories were shortlisted to leave 27 finalists battling it out in the prestigious Enginuity Skills Awards.

The awards were judged by an expert industry led judging panel.


Details of all the winners are below and you can also see videos of them talking about their awards.

Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by Atkins

WINNER – Christopher Eckert of Packaging Automation Ltd, Knutsford, Cheshire

HIGHLY COMMENDED – Marc Cotton of Mars Chocolate, Reading

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Robyn Clark and Andy Smith of Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd, Derbyshire

Higher Apprentice of the Year - sponsored by Rolls-Royce plc

WINNER - Joanne Sharples of BAE Systems plc, Preston

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Adam Davies of Airbus Operations Ltd, Broughton, Chester

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Anna Schlautmann of MBDA UK Ltd, Bolton

Graduate of the Year - sponsored by Marshall

WINNER - Emma England of Airbus Operations Ltd, Filton, Gloucestershire

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Alexander Godfrey of Lockheed Martin UK, Ampthill, Bedfordshire

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Akshay Ogale of Rolls-Royce plc, Derby

Skills Champion of the Year - sponsored by BAE Systems plc

WINNER - Martin Rigley MBE of Lindhurst Engineering, Nottingham

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Jason Andrews of Martin Manufacturing Ltd, Louth, Lincolnshire

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Jenny Conlon of KMF, Newcastle-under-Lyme

Skills Innovation of the Year - sponsored by Siemens

WINNER - KMF, Newcastle-under-Lyme HIGHLY COMMENDED - Rolls-Royce plc, Derbyshire

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd, Derby

Training Partner of the Year - sponsored by Get MyFirstJob

WINNER - Babcock International, Portsmouth

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Glasgow Clyde College, Glasgow


Award for SME Investment in Skills - sponsored by Jaguar Land Rover

WINNER – Canal Engineering, Nottingham

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Automotive Insulations, Rugby

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Pentaxia Ltd, Derby

Technician of the Year - sponsored by EngTechNow

WINNER – Steve Green of Lockheed Martin UK, Ampthill, Bedfordshire

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Jade Aspinall of MBDA UK Ltd, Bolton

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Charlotte Hannaby-Farmer of MBDA UK Ltd, Bolton

Enginuity & WISE Diversity in Engineering award – supported by MBDA

WINNER - Dawn Bonfield of Women’s Engineering Society, Stevenage

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Inspire Young People, Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, Cambridge

Best of British Engineering

WINNER - Emma England of Airbus Operations Ltd, Filton, Gloucestershire

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