A WORCESTER tool manufacturer has received an award from the Prince of Wales.

The global Japanese engineering giant Yamazaki Mazak, which has an European Manufacturing Plant and Technology Centre in Worcester, has received the accolade of being the Employer of the Year, in the 2018 Industrial Cadets Awards.

Over the last four years the firm, which is based in Badgeworth Drive, has expanded its activity in engaging with local young people for workplace experience.

Chris Morris and Dave Barnett, the firm's learning and development team, have helped develop the programme, with it now engaging 18 schools.

In 2014 only three employees were involved with the programmes, now there are over 51 staff members involved ranging from directors, managers, shop floor staff, and Mazak’s own apprentices, some of whom where were cadets themselves.

Industrial Cadets is an accreditation for young peoples’ experiences of industry in science, technology, engineering and maths, designed to maximise the value of activities to guide and inspire young people into these industries.

The firm received the award from Prince Charles at the Kelvin Lecture Theatre at The IET’s Savoy Place in London on March 7.

Mr Barnett, learning and development manager, said: “To be awarded top employer by such a prestigious organisation, beating the likes of Airbus, the RAF and Tata in the process, is a real testament to Mazak’s commitment to the next generation of engineers.

“Since its inception, the Industrial Cadets has formed an integral element of our engagement strategy with young people in secondary education.

"We have been privileged to work closely with a number of local schools over the past few years, welcoming them to our centre to give them first-hand experience of some of the latest metal-cutting technologies.

“It was a great honour to welcome the Prince of Wales to Mazak’s Worcester facility in 2013, and to receive the award from him is extremely special.

"We are immensely proud of this award, and it would not have been possible without all the hard work undertaken by everyone at Mazak who has helped to organise, facilitate and oversee the Industrial Cadets programme of activities over the last few years."

Richard Smith, Yamazaki Mazak's European group managing director, added: “This is a very proud moment for Yamazaki Mazak. I would like to extend my thanks to all those who have been involved in the Industrial Cadets programme at Mazak, and in particular to Dave Barnett and Chris Morris, whose invaluable work has laid the foundations for the prestigious award.”