During her visit, Mrs. May tweeted her praise for adi’s “wonderful apprentices” and the opportunities delivered by the firm’s “quality apprenticeships”. The Group has made the commitment of signing up to the 5% club, which states that it aims to employ 5% of its total workforce as apprentices by 2020.

CEO Alan Lusty explained why apprenticeships are so important to him and adi: “Giving youngsters the skills they need for the world of work is vital, particularly at a time of such rapid technological change. And I’m a walking example of why. Were it not for an apprenticeship, this company and the jobs it has created wouldn’t exist.

“I failed my 11 plus but was lucky enough to get on an Instrumentation and Electrical apprenticeship that really opened my eyes. It not only gave me some very important skills but it gave me the confidence and belief that my destiny was in my own hands.

“That, in turn, allowed me to start this firm back in 1990 and build it from the ground up into what we are today. The discipline and resilience I learned all those years ago played a huge part in that, so I’ve always felt strongly about nurturing the skills of those who come after me.”

Group strategic account director, James Sopwith, was pleased the firm’s skills initiatives were endorsed by the government and said: “To show both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor around our HQ is a massive plus and validates all the hard work of our entire team, so it’s a great boost for our already-high morale.

“We like to think we’re pioneers, when it comes to skills development, so it’s wonderful to have our model held up as an exemplar by the government and to help, in some small way, shape the policy agenda. We also welcome the Chancellor’s conference comments and the commitments he’s made in support of apprenticeships like ours.

“But it’s not only the responsibility of government. Businesses have a real role to play in inspiring young people and giving them the skills they need to succeed. To that end, our Pre-Apprenticeship programme has proof of concept and, if other companies copy what we have created, we can help bring about a sea change, not just in the engineering sphere but in a number of key sectors.

“I can tell you, from personal experience, that inspiring young people as early as possible really works. So, I’d urge any businesses looking to make a difference to get in touch. We’d be very happy to pass on our concept and our knowledge of its delivery at zero cost.”