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Stanley Black & Decker announces ‘Sir George W. Buckley Engineering Excellence Programme’

Sir George W. Buckley

Stanley Black & Decker has joined forces with the University of Sheffield to launch the Sir George W. Buckley Engineering Excellence Programme, an apprenticeship scheme open to local engineering students, in honour of the company’s new Chairman of the Board, Sir George W. Buckley, who was born in Pitsmoor and began his own career with an apprenticeship at the Sheffield-based company.

On Friday 24 March, Sir George W. Buckley returned to Hellaby (Rotherham, South Yorkshire) to meet the employees at Stanley Black & Decker’s manufacturing plant, and to announce the new programme established in his name.

Founded in collaboration with the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), the scheme will provide young people from the region with an opportunity to embark upon an exciting career with the global manufacturer. Apprentices will be based at the company’s Hellaby facility, which produces a wide range of high quality hand tools for the building trade.

Stanley Black & Decker and The University of Sheffield’s AMRC Training Centre have forged a strong apprenticeship partnership over the past two and a half years, resulting in the enrolment of seven apprentices since the beginning of the co-operation between the two organisations in 2015.

The Sir George W. Buckley Engineering Excellence Programme will be administered and delivered by the University of Sheffield’s AMRC Training Centre, and Stanley Black & Decker welcomes candidates to apply from April 2017. The programme is scheduled to begin later in 2017.

Successful applicants will complete an introductory 25 week course, during which participants will compete for the Sir George W. Buckley Excellence Award. A specially-appointed panel will consider the achievements of each candidate, and an overall winner will be identified and announced as the ‘Sir George Buckley Engineering Excellence Apprentice’ for that year. 

The recipient of this prestigious accolade will then be granted the opportunity of an additional training programme that includes best practice in advanced, innovative subjects, such as automation, robotics, additive design and manufacturing, as well as the chance to visit and work at other international Stanley Black & Decker facilities.

James M. Loree, President and Chief Executive Officer, Stanley Black & Decker, commented, “Around the world, we have fostered a culture of continuous learning, breakthrough innovation and growth. We invest in the training and careers of our associates, empowering them to take on any challenge – and hard work is always rewarded. People are our most important asset, and this new Excellence Programme will help keep us ahead of the curve in developing young local talent, to discover the next generation of engineering leaders who will create the Stanley Black & Decker products and solutions of the future.”

Dan Swift, programme manager, University of Sheffield, commented, “The AMRC Training Centre is excited to be collaborating with Stanley Black & Decker and delivering the ‘Sir George Buckley Engineering Excellence Programme’. This is a wonderful opportunity for individuals to embark on an engineering apprenticeship with a globally recognised organisation, and to potentially follow in the footsteps of Sir George Buckley himself.”

About Sir George W. Buckley: Born in Pitsmoor, George Buckley grew up in a neighbourhood close to the Stanley Works Woodside Lane factory. He began his career as an apprentice electrician at the Sheffield plant, and subsequently worked at various Stanley Black & Decker facilities in the region. The firm went on to sponsor his undergraduate engineering degree programme. Furthermore, Buckley’s mother was employed at the same plant for close to 30 years, and his sister worked for the company for approximately a decade.

Sir George W. Buckley was appointed global Chairman of the Board at Stanley Black & Decker on 1 January 2017. A long-tenured director of Stanley Black & Decker, he joined the board in March 2010 having previously served as a director of Black & Decker from 2006. Sir Buckley has been Stanley Black & Decker’s Lead Independent Director since April 2015. He is a member of the Audit Committee, the Compensation and Organization Committee and the Executive Committee. Sir Buckley was the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of 3M Company from 2005 – 2012. Prior to leading 3M, Sir Buckley was Chairman and CEO of Brunswick Corporation. He also serves as Chairman of Smiths Group plc, a director of Hitachi Ltd., and a director of PepsiCo, Inc. 

About Stanley Black & Decker: Stanley Black & Decker, an S&P 500 and FORTUNE 500 company, is the world’s leading provider of tools and storage, the world’s second-largest commercial electronic security company, and a leading engineered fastening systems provider, with unique growth platforms in the Oil & Gas and Infrastructure industries. Well-known brands include: STANLEY, BLACK+DECKER, DEWALT, Porter-Cable, Bostitch, Facom, Mac Tools, Proto, Vidmar, Lista, and more. Learn more at

About the University of Sheffield AMRC: The University’s internationally-renowned Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) was the first of the UK’s national specialist research and development facilities to recognise the needs of industry for a new kind of highly-skilled, vocationally-adept engineering programme leading to degree-level study. The centre provides training for apprentices in the practical and academic skills that engineering and manufacturing companies need to compete globally, from apprenticeship through to higher education. The apprenticeship programmes combine real work experience with learning and development, both on and off the job with the opportunity to progress to higher-level qualifications such as a foundation degree or undergraduate degree to masters and doctorate levels, as part of the University of Sheffield wider education offer.

The centre has won numerous awards including the Times Higher Education Outreach Award for its work on getting apprentices into degree programmes. The success of the centre has led to numerous visits from government ministers and officials and new colleges have been opened based on the AMRC Training Centre model. 

After putting in an application, potential apprentices are put through the assessment centre day, which includes a job style interview and series of tasks to determine suitability. Successful applicants then go onto employer-matching events, where they speak to the various employers advertising with the Training Centre to find a role which suits them. For more information, visit:

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