Skills Training UK is a finalist for ‘Training Partner of the Year’ in SEMTA Awards

March 10th, 2017

Skills Training UK is thrilled to have been named a finalist in the SEMTA annual skills awards held on Wednesday 8 March at the Park Lane Hilton Hotel in London, after being nominated by one of its employer partners, Xaar plc.

Xaar plc is a world leader in the development of digital inkjet technology and manufacture of Piezoelectric industrial printheads, exporting over 95% of its products worldwide. It recognised the need to engage and involve staff in Business Improvement Techniques training and engaged Skills Training UK to tailor an apprenticeship programme which has been fully inclusive and delivered in a way that everyone mattered, with additional support provided to less confident learners and encouragement to those able to extend their skills further.

Ian Page, Head of Continuous Improvement at Xaar plc, said: “Skills Training UK stood out because they grasped our vision from the start and tailored a programme which applied the apprenticeship standard to a whole new level, covering over 300 people with a wide range of previous skills and experience.”

Skills Training UK’s team of trainer-assessors has delivered off-the-job, classroom based training in improvement techniques at Xaar’s manufacturing site in Huntingdon, with 1-2-1 support for individual employees where needed. 100% attendance was achieved for the classroom training and the completion rate for the training overall has been 94%. 70% of staff are gaining qualifications higher than they previously held.

Stephen Crawley, Skills Director, Skills Training UK, said: “This is a great example of how we work with employers as their partner to deliver the skills which meet their business needs. The training has been transformational in terms of benefiting staff and delivering real improvements to the business. We are upskilling the entire workforce in a programme which is core to Xaar’s business strategy.”

To embed the learning, staff have tackled improvement projects which they identified themselves and the results show increased productivity and cost savings valued by Xaar at £360,000 per annum, as well as a more upbeat, motivated workforce.

Simon Gotch, Chairman, Skills Training UK, said: “This programme is a blue print for the apprenticeships framework and policy - a large scale, structured programme (7 assessors, 4 days per week) which is inclusive of everyone and which ensures industry-leading results.”

After the training, participants have gone on to continue using their skills on further projects – showing that the training has provided a long-lasting legacy.

Graham Tweedale, Director of Operations, Xaar plc, said: “Skills Training UK have made a real difference to Xaar’s workforce and productivity and we were proud to nominate them for SEMTA’s Training Provider of the Year Award.”

For further information about Skills Training UK’s bespoke apprenticeship programmes telephone 0207 795 8200 or email

For all the results of the SEMTA awards see