Balfour Beatty And Thales Among Four New Sign-ups To The 5% Club

The 5% Club campaign has started 2014 with the signing up of four new companies – including Balfour Beatty and Thales – and one public sector organisation. All of the new members have committed to the aim of ensuring that 5% of their workforce are apprentices, graduates or sponsored students on structured programmes within the next five years.

International infrastructure group Balfour Beatty, which employs 20,000 staff in the UK, and Thales, one of the UK’s leading engineering and technology companies, are joined by the MoD’s science and technology organisation, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), and IT, data centre and Cloud supplier, Attenda. The new sign-ups bring the current number of companies in The 5% Club to 18, together accounting for 100,000 UK employees.

The new members continue to add weight to the commitment of existing members – including Babcock, Atkins, Airbus UK, Vision Express and others – to tackle the nearly 1 million youth unemployment level, by providing the skills and training necessary to build meaningful careers for the next generation.

Balfour Beatty Chief Executive, Andrew McNaughton said: “The growth of the construction industry will be vital to helping the UK economic recovery, but at the same time the industry is facing the prospect of a skills shortage. By helping young people to get into work with the proper training and qualifications we can ensure the sustainability of our own business and the wider communities in which we work.”

Victor Chavez, CEO of Thales UK, said: “Organisations that do not invest in the next generation are not only failing to secure their own future, they are also failing in their responsibility to the young people of the UK.  For Thales to remain at the forefront of the UK’s engineering and technology projects, and more broadly for the UK to have the right level of engineering and technical skills to meet future global demand, we must ensure we have excellent training and development programmes in place. Thales has a strong culture of training and development that stretches back decades and we have developed a comprehensive suite of training experiences for young people – including our excellent graduate development programme, apprentice schemes, internships and other mentoring initiatives that combine learning and working. Our membership of The 5% Club demonstrates Thales Group’s long-term commitment to training and Thales UK’s commitment to the young people of the UK.”

Dstl’s Chief Executive Jonathan Lyle said: “As a public sector science and technology organisation, Dstl is delighted to join The 5% club. We are passionate about supporting and employing young people by offering a variety of opportunities including apprenticeships, industrial placements, Year In Industry placements and graduate opportunities – they bring innovation and fresh ideas into our workforce as well as helping us to play our part in addressing the UK’s skills shortages.”

Leo Quinn, CEO of QinetiQ Group PLC, a founder member of The 5% Club, said: “The breadth of different organisations to have signed up – from construction to law – shows how widely youth unemployment is seen as a national issue – and how much industry wants to raise our skills training in the UK.

“This is a terrific start to 2014 for The 5% Club and we urge other companies to follow Balfour Beatty, Thales, Osborne Clarke, DSTL and Attenda in signing up.”

The 5% Club campaign, launched in early October, is open to every company in the UK. Members must publicly report their progress on the 5% target in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) section of their Annual Report and Accounts or equivalent.

It is believed this is the first time companies in the UK will have made the commitment to measure and report their performance against such a target.

Companies wishing to sign up to The 5% Club or which simply would like more information can visit www.5percentclub.org.uk or email contactus@5percentclub.org.uk

Four New Companies Join The 5% Club

The 5% Club have kicked off 2014 with the signing up of four new companies, including Balfour Beatty and Thales. All of the new members have committed to the Club Charter, ensuring that 5% of their workforce are apprentices, graduates or sponsored students on structured programmes within the next five years.

The four new members to join The 5% Club are:

  • Balfour Beatty– An international infrastructure group, with 20,000 employers in the UK.
  • Thales– One of the UK’s leading engineering and technology companies.
  • The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory– The MOD’s science and technology organisation.
  • Attenda– One of the UK’s largest data centre and Cloud supplier.

The four new additions brings the current number of companies in The 5% Club to 18 and the total number of UK employees to 100,000.

Balfour-Beatty_The-5%-Club

Balfour Beatty Chief Executive, Andrew McNaughton said: “The growth of the construction industry will be vital to helping the UK economic recovery, but at the same time the industry is facing the prospect of a skills shortage. By helping young people to get into work with the proper training and qualifications we can ensure the sustainability of our own business and the wider communities in which we work.”

Thales_The-5%-Club

Victor Chavez, CEO of Thales UK, said: “Organisations that do not invest in the next generation are not only failing to secure their own future, they are also failing in their responsibility to the young people of the UK.  For Thales to remain at the forefront of the UK’s engineering and technology projects, and more broadly for the UK to have the right level of engineering and technical skills to meet future global demand, we must ensure we have excellent training and development programmes in place.

Thales has a strong culture of training and development that stretches back decades and we have developed a comprehensive suite of training experiences for young people – including our excellent graduate development programme, apprentice schemes, internships and other mentoring initiatives that combine learning and working. Our membership of The 5% Club demonstrates Thales Group’s long-term commitment to training and Thales UK’s commitment to the young people of the UK.”

dstl_the-5%-club

Dstl’s Chief Executive Jonathan Lyle said: “As a public sector science and technology organisation, Dstl is delighted to join The 5% club. We are passionate about supporting and employing young people by offering a variety of opportunities including apprenticeships, industrial placements, Year In Industry placements and graduate opportunities – they bring innovation and fresh ideas into our workforce as well as helping us to play our part in addressing the UK’s skills shortages.”

Attenda_The-5%-Club

Leo Quinn, CEO of QinetiQ Group PLC, a founder member of The 5% Club, said: “The breadth of different organisations to have signed up – from construction to law – shows how widely youth unemployment is seen as a national issue – and how much industry wants to raise our skills training in the UK.

“This is a terrific start to 2014 for The 5% Club and we urge other companies to follow Balfour Beatty, Thales, Osborne Clarke, DSTL and Attenda in signing up.”

Companies wishing to sign up to The 5% Club or which simply would like more information can visit www.5percentclub.org.uk or email contactus@5percentclub.org.uk

The 5% Club Case Study: Matt Speight

25% of Dale Power Solutions workforce are either an apprentice or a former apprentice, which demonstrates the successful careers apprenticeships can bring. As part of promoting apprenticeships, Dale Power Solutions have asked some of their current apprentices to interview former apprentices on their views. This week, award winning apprentice Natasha Pitts interviews former apprentice Matt Speight, currently a sales manager at Dale Power Solutions.

The 5% Club_DalePowerSolutions

1. Why did you take on an apprenticeship?

I applied for college to do engineering, and then applied for an apprenticeship as well, to five or six companies. I had four interviews, followed by two job offers. I preferred Dale over the other company that offered me an apprenticeship.

2. What is your current role in the company and how did you get there?

I am currently a Sales Manager at Dale Power Solutions. To start with I worked in test and applied for a job in tendering. However, I learnt that the tendering position was to be made redundant, so i decided to apply for a sales position instead.

3. How many years have you been at Dale Power Solutions?

Over 21 years in total:

1991 – 1996 – Gristhorpe site, working in panel wire, plant wire, test, engineering

1996-1998 – Erskine UPS test department

1998 – 1999 – Erskine Tendering

1999 – 2000 – Erskine Direct Sales – Standard UPS Sales Managmer

2000 – 2002 – Left and worked at another company for 2 years

2002 – 2003 – Erskine tendering

2003 – present – Erskine Direct Sales, Export and UK accounts

4. Where did you do your apprenticeship?

Dale, in Hitchin. I started off wiring, before moving on to panel wire and plant wire.

5. What discipline did you do your apprenticeship in?

Electrical, Wiring and Test, to a higher national certificate (HNC) level.

6. What did you most enjoy about your apprenticeship?

I loved getting paid and training at the same time. The apprenticeship course was the same course at college that I had applied for full time, but I wouldn’t have got paid or have received employer support. The apprenticeship at Dale offered me both. My first full year at Dale was spent working full time at college, followed by part-time day release for the next three years.

7. Why would you recommend an apprenticeship?

Certainly. The cost to get equivalent training is so much higher, and it is very hard to get the work experience. I would recommend getting an apprenticeship as soon as possible after school or college.

8. Do you have any advice for those looking into apprenticeships?

If you know the subject area, apply to all the local companies who employ staff in those areas, even if they don’t advertise for apprenticeships. Apply for the apprenticeship early, around January or February of the intake year. If you’re not sure of your subject area, apply for a wide variety of apprenticeship options.

9. Give one piece of advice to apprentices and future apprentices.

Once you get an apprenticeship, knuckle down and don’t waste the opportunity which you have been given.

The interviews have been conducted as part of the Brathay challenge and in build up to National Apprenticeship Week (3– 7 March 2014 ).

For more information, follow Dale Power Solutions on Twitter, or visit their website.

Vision Express Apprenticeship In High Demand

vision_express_logo

The 5% Club member Vision Express has reported strong demand for a new apprenticeship programme that received 300 optical retail applicants in a first intake.

The company offered 20 placements during a winter recruitment phase, and are looking to secure 60 more throughout 2014. Training begins next month, with the apprentices working towards a Level 2, Intermediate Apprenticeship in Health, which is equivalent to five GCSEs.

Jonathan Lawson, CEO of Vision Express, said: “Schemes of this kind are in high demand – impacted by the uncertainty of the UK economy and by an increasing number of young people opting for a skills route over traditional further and higher education.

“With nearly one million 16-24 year olds unemployed and only one in 10 young people joining an apprenticeship scheme when they leave school, we are delighted to offer this national skills and training opportunity and in doing so help to boost the UK’s growth agenda.”

The latest recruitment drive brings the number of Vision Express’ workforce comprising young people on structured training schemes to 3%

The 5% Club Case Study: Mohammed Rehman

This week’s case study focuses on apprentice technician Mohammed Rehman of Atkins. Mohammed joined Atkins as an apprentice technician in August 2013 after completing his A-Levels. Read on to learn more about Mohammed’s day to day role at Atkins…

Atkins case study Mohammed RehmanName: Mohammed Rehman

Role: Apprentice technician

Date Joined: August 2013

I may not have been with Atkins long, but I know I made the right choice to start my career here. I joined in August 2013 as an apprentice technician in the Birmingham office. Before that I had just completed my A-levels in maths, chemistry and biology. Trying to find your feet after A-levels these days is daunting; at first I didn’t know what path to choose – whether to go to university or to jump headfirst into a job. Then someone recommended that I consider apprenticeships, so I began to research the National Apprentice Scheme and found out about Atkins.

My apprenticeship scheme is for two years and I’m currently in the transportation drainage team within Land & Development. From day one it’s been hands-on; I’ve had a steady flow of both admin and project-based work on a range of projects, including East-West Rail, Cadley Hill and Wadi Al Buhair in Bahrain – all in just one month! It’s exciting to be working on real-life projects and learning in such a dynamic environment.

I’ve been mentored from my very first day by a colleague who’s done all he can to make sure I learn the ropes. With more new tasks to get stuck into every day, it’s been so reassuring to have someone on hand to offer advice, take me through the technical systems and help me build my skills base. My line manager has also set out year-one objectives with me so I have clear targets to strive for.

The hands-on nature of my apprenticeship is really stimulating, giving me the chance to apply my existing knowledge and learn on the job. I’m particularly enjoying developing my AutoCAD design skills on live projects. But I’m also able to support this with technical studies – I’m currently working four days a week and spending one day a week studying Level 3 Civil Engineering at Solihull College. It’s the best of both worlds and has allowed me to achieve more than I’d ever expected at the age of 19. Having been so torn between academic studies and the world of work, I’m really grateful to have had the opportunity to combine the two. It’s a great experience – I couldn’t have made a better choice.

Apprenticeships: Opening Doors To A Better Future

The 5% Club’s Dale Power Solutions offers an SME perspective on the importance of apprenticeships…

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Dale Power Solutions invests heavily in their most valuable asset – their people and for many years have created an outstanding environment for learning and development.  Although Dale Power Solutions are a global business employing over 240 people, we are committed to manufacturing in the UK and to maintaining Yorkshire’s rich manufacturing heritage along the way.

Dale Power Solutions has its own long standing apprenticeships programme which first began in the 1940’s. Since then, the Dale Power Solutions apprenticeship scheme has been recognised nationally as a top 100 UK apprentice employer and our apprentices have won numerous accolades including:

·         A Higher Apprentice of the Year for Yorkshire and the Humber

·         Insider – Made in Yorkshire Apprentice of the year

·         A highly commended award at the National Apprenticeships finals for Higher Apprentice of the year (top 3 in the country)

·         Shortlisted in the top four in the country in the STEMNET Ambassadors, most inspirational apprentice of the year

·         Derwent Training’s Apprentice of the year award

As part of our commitment to making a positive impact in the local community, several Dale Power Solutions employees have become STEM ambassadors. Our STEM ambassadors use their enthusiasm and commitment to encourage young people to enjoy STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering & maths), opening doors to a world of opportunities and possibilities.

As part of our apprentice’s ongoing commitment to STEM, Dale Power Solutions apprentices regularly visit local schools, giving presentations about working in the wonderful world of engineering. Dale Power Solutions signed up to STEM to promote the values of STEM subjects and apprenticeships, promoting the opportunities which are available right on their doorstep.

DPS-Apprentices

Apprenticeships are a rather unknown entity amongst school leavers and that is something that Dale Power Solutions feel must change.

Young people are often presented with just two choices when leaving school; start working with no training, or go to university. Apprenticeships have until recently been seen as an unattractive ‘other’ route, and aren’t fully understood by school leavers.

From our experience, apprenticeships are a comparable option to University and a fantastic way to get into the work place. They can increase chances of employment, whilst also being paid at the same time. That is something that a university course cannot compete with. And of course many of our apprentices go on to undertake university degrees, which is fully funded by Dale Power Solutions.

Dale Power Solutions is committed to making a sustainable positive impact on the communities in which we operate. We aim to make a distinctive contribution to equality and social development through the establishment of effective partnerships and programs that make best use of the energies and skills of our employees.

As an ambassador of The 5% Club it is our aim to encourage other businesses to participate in the campaign, urging more public and private companies to follow suit and aim to update on progress using various platforms, including social media, as the campaign progresses.

An astonishing 25% of Dale Power Solutions current workforce either are an apprentice or went through the apprentice route. We passionately believe in providing rewarding careers and opportunities and see our apprentices as the future of Dale Power Solutions. We strongly urge other SME companies to invest in apprentices.

For more information, follow The 5% Club and Dale Power Solutions on Twitter, and visit our website

The 5% Club Case Study: Ella Ellisdon

A happy New Year from all at The 5% Club!

We thought we’d kick off 2014 with a case study, so meet Ella Ellisdon, an Astrium Engineering apprentice from aerospace and defence company EADS.

Ella Ellisdon EADSName: Ella Ellisdon

Division: Engineering

Location: Stevenage

I have been an Astrium Engineering apprentice since September 2012; I joined as I got to spend the first year studying for PEO (Performing Engineering Operations) and BTEC National in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering qualifications at Highbury College in Portsmouth.

I am currently in industry doing real hands on work for the company, studying for my NVQ level 3, as well as doing block release back to college to gain a HNC in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. This will continue for my final two years on the apprenticeship.

A massive positive of this apprenticeship scheme with Astrium, is that you get to move around the company, working under different people, doing different types of engineering in each placement. This gives the apprentices the chance to develop themselves and gives the opportunity to see what department you would potentially like to end up in.

Every day is different, and being able to adapt and change to different challenges that arise, makes the work place a great place to be a team member of.