Stoneacre Motor Group is celebrating after its academy apprenticeship scheme was judged ‘outstanding’ in every category after its first full Ofsted inspection – garnering praise from a government minister as well.
Launched in 2017 to develop young talent, it was awarded Grade 1 Outstanding status after inspectors observed and assessed the Thorne-based training site in July.
They said the apprentices successfully established a highly professional approach, which enabled them to represent Stoneacre to their top capabilities.
Writing to dealership group managing director Shaun Foweather following the inspection, skills minister Alex Burghart said: ‘It not only provides recognition for your work and commitment to improving outcomes for learners but will also act as a powerful example to other further education providers.
‘I realise how demanding your role is, even more so, during these challenging times.
‘I firmly believe that excellence in further education is vital to help young people and adults achieve their potential.
‘It strengthens local communities and supports employers to achieve growth, by improving workforce skills and the job prospects of the people you train.
‘It is through your organisation and others like you that Britain can equip people with the skills they need to succeed in life.
‘Please pass on my congratulations to everyone in your organisation, and please take some time to celebrate.’
Group academy manager Claire Perkins said: ‘The most worthwhile aspect is changing apprentices’ lives.
‘It was a rewarding feeling for me as a manager when Ofsted rang our apprentices to give them great feedback, then rang their managers to congratulate them on the success of their managerial skills.
‘I am so proud of all our apprentices, employers and my team for the huge role they played in our Ofsted report.’
The Ofsted report acknowledged how highly the youngsters valued their apprenticeship.
It said they were able to advance thanks to the high level of support and care from staff, adding that as a result the apprentices developed excellent communication, team-working and customer service skills.
The inspectors also highlighted how the tutors gave valuable specialist training to light-vehicle technician apprentice, developing their skills in electric and hybrid vehicle servicing and maintenance, which was further equipping them to work in the fast-changing automotive industry.
Foweather said: ‘I am exceptionally proud of what the academy and Claire have achieved.
‘The academy strives to be industry-leading, even through difficult times such as the pandemic. The staff have redeveloped and built the academy to ensure our apprentices continue to receive fantastic training.
‘We know that today’s apprentices are our future managers. We’re investing in our future as much as theirs.
‘Our apprentices are bright, vibrant and best placed to change our business from a different perspective.’