Following ‘rigorous assessment’ by the City & Guilds Group, Xtrac has again successfully met the standard of excellence required for a Princess Royal Training Award.
HRH The Princess Royal, president of the City & Guilds Group, will present the 2021 Awards to celebrate the achievements of 48 recipients, including 46 businesses, at a special ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 14 at the Mansion House in London, hosted by the Lord Mayor of the City.
Soon after, the next cohort of four undergraduates and eight apprentices selected from more than 120 applicants will begin their training with Xtrac.
“We are all aware of the ongoing impact and changed ways of working brought about by covid-19, which is still affecting many U.K. organizations in so many different ways,” says Kirstie Donnelly MBE, chief executive of the City & Guilds Group, in a letter congratulating Xtrac apprentice master Warren Page. “The fact that you have found the time and focus to submit a high-quality application is testament to your commitment to exceptional training, learning and development and rewarding excellence in the workplace. As we look forward to a post-Covid recovery for our economy, it is clear that investing in the talent of our employees is more important now than ever.”
Xtrac, one of the world’s leading suppliers of advanced transmission systems for top-level professional motorsport and high-performance automotive applications, previously received the award in 2018, shortly after the City & Guilds Group established the accolade.
The Berkshire headquartered automotive technology company introduced its apprenticeship scheme in 1993. It has since been progressively cited as an exemplar of engineering training and learning best practices in a high-growth company.
“The impact on the business of the 70 apprentices who have undertaken our advanced apprenticeship in mechanical engineering in conjunction with Newbury College, and additionally 70 engineering undergraduates who have studied at various U.K. universities, is a steady flow of skilled young people for our design, manufacturing and support operations,” says Jane Gilham. As head of human resources at Xtrac, she has represented the MIA in meetings with UK parliamentary committees. Gilham works closely with apprentice manager Warren Page, who heads the program at Xtrac and inspires the next generation.
“We always start each yearly intake by meeting with parents who also have a voice,” says Page. “By the end of upwards of six years of training for apprentices, all participants have significantly improved technical capability and personal development, which features highly in the programme and ensures that we have great retention of employees.”
“This latest honor will be well received, and I know the entire company will be delighted,” says company president Peter Digby. Starting his career as a British Airways apprentice and one of Xtrac’s longest-serving employees, he has long supported the development of its apprentice scheme. “Our employee training programmes strongly underpin our success as an advanced automotive technology company.”
The company’s chief executive, Adrian Moore, who began his career as a sponsored undergraduate student by Rolls-Royce, is similarly supportive of the company’s training programs, which the board of directors and senior management team comprehensively endorse.
“We continually review our apprenticeship, undergraduate and postgraduate training and succession planning of long-serving retirees,” says Moore. “Advanced technology training is fully integrated into all aspects of the program, which is given the highest priority throughout the business to support the company’s future success. By empowering our employees and actively promoting from within, we can ensure that we have the best people generating the best ideas to deliver innovative solutions to our customers. Training and succession planning is particularly relevant today as our industry transitions from internal combustion engine vehicles through to hybrids and electric vehicles.”
As an equal opportunity employer, Xtrac’s apprenticeship program is open to all candidates, and it actively promotes equality of opportunities and diversity for all engineering undergraduates and technical apprentices.
IMAGE 1 Xtrac apprentice manager Warren Page discussing advanced motorsport bevel gears with engineering apprentices Alfie Gibbons and Apprentice of the Year 2020 Faye Cooke
IMAGE 2 Apprentice manager and long-serving employee Warren Page with Xtrac’s original cyclo-palloid bevel cutting machine that he worked on 30 years ago in 1991