Gareth Higgins, managing director of precision sheet metal fabrication specialist KMF, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.
Mr Higgins, who has helped steer KMF through 25 years of growth, is honoured for services to apprenticeships. He said: “It is an incredible honour to be nominated for an MBE but to be recognised for KMF's commitment to skills and engineering makes this particularly rewarding.”
North Staffordshire-based KMF has heavily invested in apprenticeships, training and supporting young people into engineering careers.
KMF invested £600,000 to create a training centre in 2009 and has since trained more than 60 apprentices. This year, 16 young people will start their apprenticeship with the KMF Group.
“Seeing how young people flourish at KMF gives me the greatest satisfaction,” said Mr Higgins. “The MBE is a reflection of the fantastic work of our talented team at KMF who are committed to the business and to bringing through new talent - the future of KMF.
“Special mention must go to KMF Training Centre Manager Jenny Conlon and her team who consistently go above and beyond to mentor and encourage our apprentices.”
KMF has gained several accolades for its apprenticeship programme and 'Young Engineer of the Year' programme, which works with schools, colleges and businesses to inspire interest in engineering as a career.
After a short career serving as a Royal Navy weapons engineer, Mr Higgins joined the business (set up by his father in 1971) in 1992 and worked as operations manager and operations director, before becoming managing director in 2009.
The honour comes just a few months after KMF won the SEMTA skills innovation award.