Colston Engineering commits to The 5% Club pledge

Colston Engineering, a fully integrated engineering subcontractor offering a wide range of services has joined The 5% Club. Chippenham based Colston is privately owned and has been a contractor to the Ministry of Defence for over 40 years and has progressively developed a broad industrial customer base.


Colston The 5% ClubWith a highly skilled and motivated workforce and comprehensive precision machining, fabrication, electrical assembly, project management, design, product development and product manufacturing skills and expertise Colston offer young people valuable earn and learn experiences, making them a great candidate to join the campaign. Along with the other 70+ members, Colston have committed 5% of their workforce to be apprentices or graduates within a 5 year time frame.

As both Darren Hearn, Production Supervisor at Colston and Managing Director Matthew Heaton started their careers as apprentices, offering valuable opportunities to young people is at the core of Colston’s business.

Darren Hearn was employed by Colston Engineering as an apprentice back in 1990 after studying his trade at college. With 25 years under his belt with the company and in his role as production supervisor, he has been the driving force in employing apprentices.

Darren said, “In the 25 years that I have been employed at Colston Engineering Services, it has become more apparent that there is a huge skills gaps in the engineering sector, particular when it comes to welding and sheet metal skills.”

Managing Director Matthew Heaton joined Colston in 2013 and understands only too well, the benefits of apprenticeships.

“I myself completed an apprenticeship while studying at university and I firmly believe that they are the most cost effective way for businesses to develop their own talent and to ensure the sustainability of their workforce.”

It’s not just businesses that benefit from apprenticeships; 19 year old welding and fabrication apprentice Toran Howlett, one of two apprentices that Colston Engineering Services took on last September said:

“I completed a Level 3 Performing Engineering Operations course at Wiltshire College and wasn’t sure what to do next. I knew I wanted to work, so I spoke to my tutor who advised me that an apprenticeship would work well for me, giving me the experience I needed as well as the opportunity to build on the skills that I had gained while on my engineering course.”

Fellow apprentice Tom O’Brien who was also employed at Colston Engineering Services last September said:


“After finishing my engineering course, I started doing part time jobs that were totally unrelated to engineering, just to get some money coming in. But I knew that this wasn’t really getting me anywhere, and the idea of an apprenticeship seemed the best way to build on my engineering skills and earn some money.”

Tom continued: “The other thing that sold the apprenticeship to me was the job security; I wanted to be able to use the skills that I had already learned and put them to good use, rather than ending up in a basic job in some factory somewhere. This way, I will continue my apprenticeship over the next four years and I’m guaranteed a job at the end of it.”

To find out more about Colston Engineering and the opportunities they offer, please visit their website:

To find out more information about The 5% Club and how to become a member, please visit or get in touch by emailing

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