Jacobs Joins The 5% Club


Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. announced today that it is has joined The 5% Club to support the UK campaign to raise levels of apprentices and graduates in British businesses.

With 65,000 people globally – 9,000 of whom are located in the UK – Jacobs is committed to developing the next generation of talent.

In the UK, Jacobs has signed The 5% Club Charter pledging that 5% of the company’s overall UK workforce is to be comprised of graduates, technicians and/or apprentices within a five year time frame.

The company’s UK entry level commitment is currently at over 8%, with more than 800 graduates, technicians and apprentices on staff.

In making the announcement, Jacobs Group Vice President Bob Duff said, “We are delighted to support The 5% Club initiative, which supports our drive to increase skills for the industries in which we operate. In 2014 we welcomed some 360+ apprentices and graduates into our UK operations.

“At Jacobs, they have opportunities to enjoy exciting roles across a variety of industry sectors and disciplines, all within a well-structured work-study programme. We create an environment where they can learn, grow, and thrive.”

Jacobs Group Vice President Conor Doyle added, “We are committed to our next generation of Jacobs’ graduates and apprentices. We have a long and successful operational history in the UK and our apprentices and graduates are the future of our business, both here in the UK and across the globe.”

Dr Sam Healy, Programme Director of The 5% Club said, “We’re delighted to welcome Jacobs to the initiative. The company’s existing efforts to invest in the next generation are greatly welcomed and together we can strive towards a brighter future for young people in Britain.”


UntitledJacobs’ senior process engineer Claire Griffiths concluded, “I decided to study for my Chemical Engineering degree as a means to apply science and maths, which I really enjoyed. I then joined the Jacobs Graduate Development Programme in 2008, which enabled me to develop my knowledge across different market sectors and several stages of a project’s execution.

“I’ve had enormous opportunity here, from working with project design and commissioning teams and putting my theory into practice, through to developing my leadership skills. I achieved my Chartered status with IChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers) and am now looking forward to further building upon my skills to include project engineering and management.”

Jacobs’ UK Graduate Development Programme (GDP) is a three year programme aimed at graduates of all disciplines in their first three years of professional development. The GDP assists the graduate to develop a structured approach to their Continuous Professional Development, and complements the Initial Professional Development schemes of the various Institutions.

Jacobs’ UK Apprenticeship Programme enables school/college leavers to embark on a three/four year programme leading to Design / Project Controls or Construction technician and equivalent roles. Apprentices also have a route to higher education via an HNC and undergraduate degree.

About Jacobs

Jacobs is one of the world’s largest and most diverse providers of technical professional and construction services. We have operations in more than 250 locations across more than 35 countries, and employ more than 65,000 people. Operating in the UK for more than 25 years, Jacobs works on projects across sectors such as oil and gas, refining, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, power, nuclear, defence, building, as well as major infrastructure projects in water, rail, aviation, and roads. Jacobs employs some of the UK’s most experienced technical professional services practitioners; having grown to over 9,000 people at 35 locations across the UK. Find out more about Jacobs and the opportunities they offer by visiting http://www.jacobs.com/

To find out more information about The 5% Club and how to become a member, please visit http://www.5percentclub.org.uk/index.html or get in touch by emailingcontactus@5percentclub.org.uk. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as well!



National Physical Laboratory joins The 5% Club


The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has joined The 5% Club and committed to the aim of ensuring that 5% of its UK workforce are apprentices, graduates or sponsored students on structured programmes within the next five years.

According to the most recent Labour Market Statistics, there are 740,000 unemployed 16- 24 year olds in the UK. Only one in ten young people join an apprentice scheme on leaving school. By joining the 5% Club, NPL aims to address the twin scarcities of youth training opportunities and national skills, and in so doing boost the UK’s growth agenda.

Brian Bowsher, NPL’s Managing Director, said: “I am immensely proud of the significant contribution that NPL’s graduates and apprentices make to our scientific research and the real world impact it has. As well as our staff who are apprentices and graduates working on structured programmes, NPL also sponsors over 100 graduate and postgraduate students from universities across the UK and internationally. The professional skills developed through this and similar schemes are crucial to the UK’s continued success in scientific research and innovation.”

We spoke to a few of NPL’s bright and talented young people to hear about their experiences at NPL and why they chose to do an apprenticeship.

Patrick Backhouse

IMG_2323“I have been working for a couple of months at NPL as a junior scientist and in that time I have learnt so much about physics and the science industry in general. I have worked on several different calibrations within the optical measurement group, there I have been managing my own workload, carrying out measurements, completing analysis and creating calibration certificates. I also have been performing NPL’s branded “Polystyrene Wavenumber” standard calibrations, a standard of calibrated transmittance minima for customers to calibrate their machines.

I had finished college when I applied for my role at NPL, I concluded that the experience would be more fulfilling than completing a degree. Aside from the prescribed advanced apprenticeship scheme, I have been trained to use lots of scientific equipment, complete multiple industrial processes and even been taught soft skills. Since joining NPL, I feel confident in my abilities to do my job, act professionally and serve a greater purpose than just my own. “

Tierney Perez-Drummy

IMG_2332“When I joined the NPL apprenticeship, I had just finished my GCSE’s. Whilst I have been here, I have been working in the Quantum Detection group, Microwave and Humidity groups, as well as working towards a Level 3 BTEC in applied science. In my latest group, I have been calibrating hygrometers in humidity chambers, from set up to finishing off the certificate and sending it off to customers.

The main reason I joined NPL was the idea of gaining experience in the world of work, as well as a qualification. The experience that I have gained here will help me further down the line, whether I decide to stay here at NPL, if they offer me a job or if I look for a job elsewhere. Plus, the idea that I’m going to be paid to learn didn’t seem too bad.”

Kieran Edmonds

IMG_2344“I joined NPL in September 2013 after completing my A levels. Since then I have worked in two separate departments within NPL. The first was the Temperature group, where I worked with professional scientists who taught me how to properly calibrate both contact and ranged thermometers using the countries standards. After my first placement was completed, I moved into the Quantum Detection Group, where I was placed in charge of my own research project in producing Cryogenic Current Comparators that have a removable casing and are easy to reproduce. Within the first 6 months of my time within the department, I built a working prototype. The QD team then asked me to stay within the group and extended my time with them for an additional six months.

I was unsure of what career to pursue once I finished my A levels, I knew I wanted to do something scientific so I decided to come to NPL to see what it would be like. I’m pleased to say that my time at NPL has been well spent! I’ve learned a large amount of new skills and these will make me a highly employable individual in the future. I now plan to continue my studies in order to gain a better understanding of the work I do for NPL, to enable me to contribute more to both my team and the company as a whole.”

Stan Smith

“I joined the National Physical Laboratory’s Apprenticeship program in September 2014 IMG_2348 after completing my A-levels. From the very start I was involved in lab work, learning new skills through hands on experience. I am currently working on a project which is testing new coatings for the inside of biofuel combustion chambers, which allows me to utilise all the different skills I have picked up since joining, including both optical and electron microscopy. Alongside my work, I am also completing an Advanced Laboratory Technician level 3 BTEC, as well as a Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Laboratory and Associated Technical Activities.

I chose this apprenticeship because of the incredible facilities that NPL has, as well as their excellent reputation as a metrology institute, and a chance to get hands on experience here was a perfect alternative to university for me.”

Melvis Usideme

“I joined NPL in September 2014 as an Apprentice Junior Scientist. Since joining I’m always given the opportunity to support and work with senior scientists, assisting in a range of laboratory duties, general administrative tasks and scientific research. My practical experience is backed up with my previous A-Levels in Chemistry, Biology and Maths as well as the BTEC and NVQ programme that we are working on.

IMG_2365As well as working on my technical skills, the Apprenticeship programme allows me to work on and learn new interpersonal, teamwork and communication skills. I feel that I have support from the more senior scientist to help me grow in this new role and develop as a well-rounded scientist and individual.

I was attracted to the NPL by its renown and expertise in most of the fields it focuses on; the chance presented to me to become a part of this was something I appreciated highly. The training provided also offers an alternate route to becoming a registered research scientist.”

For more information about NPL’s Advanced Apprenticeship please click here and to find out more about NPL Careers click here.

To find out more information about The 5% Club and how to become a member, please visit http://www.5percentclub.org.uk/index.html or get in touch by emailingcontactus@5percentclub.org.uk. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as well!


GRAHAM Construction site engineer in shortlist for prestigious award


Grant Robson, a senior site engineer at 5% club member GRAHAM Construction, has been shortlisted for the 2015 Duke of Gloucester’s Young Achievers Scheme. The scheme is an opportunity for exceptional young professionals in the construction industry and celebrates tremendous achievements of rising stars within the sector.

Grant is one of eight finalists in the Construction Delivery category who will go in front of a prestigious judging panel, including Andrew Link from the Construction Industry Council and Gareth Stapleton, director of Rise, a construction project management business. The judges have selected the finalists from among young people who have not only achieved excellence in their careers so far, but who have had to overcome barriers and challenges to get there. .

Grant’s colleagues at GRAHAM Construction are delighted that he has been recognised as a finalist. He has worked his way up through the ranks at GRAHAM and taken advantage of their scholarship programmes after being awarded a scholarship to study Construction Management and Engineering at university. Grant achieved a 2:1 honours degree, despite dealing with dyslexia and dysgraphia. He now looks to inspire other young people living with these difficulties.

“The career challenges posed by dyslexic and dysgraphia have given me strength and determination to succeed in the construction industry” said Grant. “GRAHAM Construction have been great and I intend to repay the trust of everyone who’s helped me with scholarships through hard work and commitment.”

The 5% Club BlogGrant was given work placements with GRAHAM Construction throughout his university course so that he could gain practical experience and put the theory from the classroom into practice on a construction site. The Career Focus programme at GRAHAM helps students to see the real world of construction while learning.

Grant said “My GRAHAM Construction scholarship gave me an excellent foundation in my chosen career,  I am an ordinary young person from a working class family but I feel I’ve been given a life changing opportunity at a very young age.”

Since graduating, Grant has worked on the Aberdeen Aquatic Centre and handed over the completed project in time for the 2014 Commonwealth Water Polo competition. This is his proudest moment to date, and led to him being offered the opportunity to be temporary site manager on a mini project at Seaton Towers Aberdeen.

Aside from the construction aspect of his work, Grant has gone the extra mile with local communities. He donated a Christmas tree and lights to Woodlands special needs school when he was working on the neighbouring aquatic centre in Aberdeen.

Neil McFarlane, regional director for GRAHAM Construction said “From a shy school boy to a confident supervisor on large construction sites dealing with varying issues on a daily basis, Grant has been determined, focussed and has worked hard to achieve his career success. He richly deserves the nomination and status as a finalist.”

If successful Grant will receive a cash prize and a unique one year mentoring programme to enable him to make an even great impact in the years to come. The ceremony take place on Thursday 19th March at the Underglobe in London.

To find out more about GRAHAM Construction and the opportunities they offer, please visit their website www.graham.co.uk

To find out more information about The 5% Club and how to become a member, please visit http://www.5percentclub.org.uk/index.html or get in touch by emailingcontactus@5percentclub.org.uk. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as well!