Balfour Beatty has today announced that one of its key supply chain partners, A-Plant, has joined The 5% Club. A-Plant is Balfour Beatty’s first supply chain partner to do so.
Balfour Beatty recently announced the launch of a dedicated support package for its supply chain partners, in partnership with industry training body the CITB, to support and encourage membership of The 5% Club.
The package includes providing advice on how to take up the Shared Apprenticeship scheme, administered by the CITB, (which enables employers to take on apprentices for short periods if they are unable to offer a long term placement), linking its partners to sources of funding provided by the government and dedicated support through its supply chain portal.
Through its dedicated support, Balfour Beatty is looking to encourage at least fifty of its key supply chain partners to become members of The 5% Club each year.
A-Plant is one of Balfour Beatty’s largest suppliers of construction equipment and employs 2,600 people, with around 4% of their workforce currently in an apprenticeship or a formal graduate or sponsored student scheme.
A-Plant’s Head of Training Bob Harper, said: “Apprentices are the vital next generation of A-Plant and they enable us to gear our business up for the future, whilst providing employment and progression opportunities for young people across the country. Like Balfour Beatty, our investment in apprenticeships has never been higher and therefore we’re delighted to be announcing our commitment to The 5% Club.”
Dr Sam Healy, Programme Director for The 5% Club, said: “More and more companies are seeing the benefit of providing apprentices and graduate placements. Not only are earn and learn opportunities fantastic for setting young people up for the future, but they are vital for business growth and for strengthening the UK’s economy. We are delighted that Balfour Beatty is actively encouraging its supply chain partners to join The 5% Club as it really shows how businesses can work collectively to tackle youth unemployment and the UK’s skills shortage.”
Martin Chown, Supply Chain and Procurement Director at Balfour Beatty, said: “Some companies don’t think they have the size or scale to commit to employing apprentices but we need to use our experience to show them that there are really great opportunities here with help from the government and other bodies. Through closely working with the CITB we are aiming to encourage more businesses like A-Plant to commit to joining The 5% Club, helping them secure their own futures and that of the next generation.”
Steve Radley, Director of Policy and Strategic Planning from the CITB, said: “I’m delighted that Balfour Beatty is supporting its supply chain to join The 5% Club because it sends such a strong signal to smaller contractors who often feel that the time and cost involved is a barrier to taking on apprentices. If we are to develop the skills to deliver the strong growth forecast over the next five years, is it vital that we work together to help smaller businesses to overcome these perceptions and benefit from the boost that apprenticeships can deliver to their businesses.”
Balfour Beatty, one of the early members of The 5% Club, launched 150 new apprenticeships during National Apprenticeship Week earlier this month, and announced its partnership with 12 universities to deliver new Trailblazer Higher and Degree Apprenticeships, through which it is taking on an additional 35 apprentices from September.
Balfour Beatty currently has 375 apprentices, 184 graduates and 17 students taking part in college courses, representing just over 3% of its 17,000 strong workforce.
To find out more about Balfour Beatty and the opportunities they offer, please visit their website: www.balfourbeattycsuk.com