A SOUTHEND business specialising in manufacturing aircraft seating has been recognised with the prestigious King’s Award for Enterprise - honouring its commitment to helping young people “unlock their full potential”.

Ipeco Holdings, founded in 1960 and now based in the Airport Business Park, was one of only eight businesses across the country which have been awarded in the “promoting opportunity” category of the King’s Award.

The award honours organisations which support socially disadvantaged individuals in developing their skills and employment opportunities.

Ipeco offers an engineering training scheme, completely funded by the company itself, and aiming to help young people in not just gaining stable employment, but also acquiring recognised qualifications and career progression opportunities.

The programme stands out due to its inclusivity, welcoming individuals faced with disadvantageous circumstances.

Currently, 78 participants are enrolled in the scheme at Ipeco with the potential to secure varied roles upon successful completion.

Ipeco, established in 1960, is the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial pilot seating, employing more than 850 personnel.

It continues to be a family-run business, now in its third generation, with establishments in multiple countries including the UK, USA, Germany, Singapore, and China.

Chief executive Steve Johnson said: “Receiving the Kings’ Award for Enterprise in the Promoting Opportunity is the ultimate accolade.

“It highlights our dedication to creating opportunities for young people, helping them unlock their potential and pursue a fulfilling career.

“We take great pride in the progress of our young people and owe much of our success to those who have joined us through this scheme.”

A total of 252 organisations were recognised nationally in the announcement, however Ipeco was one of only a select eight that stood out for their work in the Promoting Opportunity category.

Successful businesses are granted the honour to utilise the King’s Awards Emblem for the next five years.