Town firm wins praise for focus on youth

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A Mildenhall engineering firm, already named as one of the best in the UK, is in line for more national recognition thanks to the excellence of its young workforce.

JEB Engineering Design has been shortlisted for the National Apprenticeship Awards in the central eastern region.

The awards celebrate the achievements of the country’s most outstanding apprentices and apprenticeship employers.

Human resources and training manager, Steve Starling, said the company has run an apprenticeship scheme for over 35 of its 41 years and many senior staff members, including the current managing director, began their careers as an apprentice.

“JEB is really honoured to be shortlisted. It’s rewarding to be selected and proves our dedication to the apprentice programme is reaping the rewards it deserves,” he added.

The company, based in Chiswick Avenue, supplies machine tools for electrical, medical and munitions industries. It has two sites in Mildenhall and employs 80 staff and 13 apprentices.

The firm will find out if it has made it through to the national final later this year.

Earlier this year it was in 27th place on a Sunday Times list which ranks Britain’s private companies with the fastest growing profits. Its latest annual profit figure of £3.05 million represented annual profit growth of 69.52 per cent over the past three years

The company, led by chairman Barry Littlewood, saw international sales within its training munitions business triple to £30m in 2012 alone.