Shepley Engineers Ltd commits to the The 5% Club


Shepley Engineers Ltd, a multi discipline engineering company with headquarters in Whitehaven, Cumbria, has showcased its commitment to the next generation by joining The 5% Club.

Shepley Engineers Ltd are committed to training and development, and have been investing in their employees’ development, and specifically apprenticeships for many years. They have a good mix of apprenticeships covering pipe fitting, welding, plating, erectors, and electrical disciplines. In 2014 they also introduced the Project Controls apprenticeship to meet an increasing need.


In addition to this they also have various trainees and a Graduate Engineer, and run an “Improvers” scheme for people who have previously worked in unskilled or Semi-skilled positions, and are now being upskilled to full tradesman status.

Nick Houghton Managing Director of Shepley Engineers says “We are more than happy to become members of The 5% Club as we have been investing in apprentices and the training and development of our staff for many years. We recognise that the best way for us to build and develop our workforce is through providing these opportunities.

“We also like to develop our engineers through this route, giving apprentices who demonstrate the necessary ability and drive, the opportunity to further their education and move into trainee engineer roles when they complete their apprenticeships.

“We feel that this gives us a strong Project Engineer and Manager capability, based on not just education but practical skills and delivery experience.  Our commitment and support of this approach is backed up and clearly demonstrable by the fact that our Chairman, MD and most of our board of directors and senior managers are from apprentice backgrounds, showing apprentices that it really is possible for them to end up running the company!”


Shepley Engineers currently has 34 apprentices, (31 across various trades, 3 in Project Controls), 9 trainee engineers, 1 trainee estimator and 1 graduate at Coventry University.

By signing up to The 5% Club Shepley have committed to work towards maintaining at least 5% of their workforce on apprenticeships or graduate training programmes over the next five years. Currently they are at 5.8% and their aim is to stay above the 5% target in the future, which is of course dependent on contracts and forward load.

To find out more information about Shepley Engineers 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 Information about the campaign can also be found on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


Record Breaking Number of Apprentices Join NPL in 2015


Since 2013, the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has invested in a comprehensive Advanced Apprenticeship programme which in September this year saw a record breaking 13 trainees join the company. For the first time , this intake of trainees will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills across the company in areas as diverse as soft skills training, science and business administration, while working towards formal qualifications.

On top of developing this scheme NPL has been leading the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ Metrology Trailblazer group in a series of steps to drive up the quality of apprenticeships within the industry. It has been developing standards and assessment guidelines for metrology apprenticeships which meet the needs of industry.

Metrology, the science of measurement, is not only an individual discipline of the physical sciences, but the base of our daily activities. Each year, over £600 billion worth of goods and utilities are sold on the basis of the measurement of their quantity. Skills in metrology underpin every sector, from construction to healthcare, and are vital in increasing the productivity and competitiveness of UK manufacturing and industry.

NPL apprentices

Dr Peter Thompson, NPL’s Chief Executive Officer, 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. The professional skills developed through this and similar schemes are crucial to the UK’s continued success in scientific research and innovation.”

NPL are proud members of the 5% club and have committed to ensuring that 5% of their UK workforce are apprentices, graduates or sponsored students on structured programmes within the next five years.

To find out more information about NPL’s apprenticeship schemes and the opportunities the company offers, please visit

To find out more information about The 5% Club and how to become a member, please visit or get in touch by emailing Information about the campaign can also be found on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Jones Bros makes The 5% Club pledge


Jones Bros, a leading civil engineering company with offices in Scotland, Wales, the North and South, has signed up to The 5% Club.

Jones Bros has an outstanding track record of providing training opportunities to young people. Around nine per cent of its workforce is made up of apprentices and graduates, and a recruitment drive is under way for its new groundworks apprenticeship programme.

Jones Bros

Dave Gibson, Jones Bros’ health, safety, environment, quality and training manager, said: “When we became aware of the 5% Club, it seemed like a campaign we simply had to join.

“It fits in perfectly with our commitment to providing training and apprenticeships, as seen by the fact that close to ten per cent of our workforce is made up of apprentices.”

Dr Sam Healy, Programme Director of The 5% Club said, “We’re delighted to welcome Jones Bros 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.”


Founded in the 1950s and employing 350 people, Jones Bros has grown significantly in the last decade. It is currently working on contracts including the construction of waste management facilities, highways, flood and marine defence and renewable energy projects around the UK.

If you would like to learn more information about Jones Bros and the opportunities it offers, please visit

To find out more information about The 5% Club and how to become a member, please visit or get in touch by emailing Information about the campaign can also be found on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Conservative Party Conference – Interview with Josh Campbell, QinetiQ

A QinetiQ Communications Integration Engineer praised The 5% Club as he told senior politicians of the positive impact learning skills on an apprenticeship programme had on his life.

Josh Campbell Conservative Party Conference


Josh Campbell, 24, took centre stage in a panel discussion at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. He revealed how he turned away from the path of going for a university degree in order to pursue a mechatronic engineering apprenticeship instead. Before the packed conference hall, Skills Minister Nick Boles, asked him about his decision:

“I was set to go to university, I then decided I wanted to go down a route where I was given the opportunity to learn the theoretical side of things but also put it into a working practice so I took on an apprenticeship with DNS and did three years in mechatronic engineering which I have now successfully completed.”

Josh, who was joined on the platform by Crossrail Chairman Terry Morgan, was asked what he felt he has gained from this experience:

“Training and learning while I earn. Skills for life and opportunities.”

He spoke enthusiastically about how this training also allowed him to experience incredibly diverse work and working environments – from ships and dock yards to aircrafts, and highlighted how no working week the same.

He was also asked whether he thought enough information was given about apprenticeships. He responded:

“Probably not. Everyone goes through the same process – schooling then applying together through UCAS and then going to university.

There needs to be more awareness made through things like The 5% club and stem activities where we are able to show that there are other opportunities”

After listening to Josh speak so highly of his experience, Mr Boles pointed out that, Josh himself was the best advocate for apprenticeship schemes.

Nick Boles MP Conservative Party Conference

Mr Boles said: “If you go into schools, people will really listen to you” and he encouraged parents, friends and neighbours to persuade young people like Josh that an apprenticeship is a ladder for a prosperous future.

Josh informed him: “I mentor a fifteen year old, year ten student. He was unsure of what direction to take in his future and asked my advice. I asked him: which route do you feel is best for you? He decided university was not for him, the apprenticeship option could be right”.

Josh summed up his thoughts to the conference when he said: “An apprenticeship can get you to whatever height you want, it gives you the opportunities and grounding you need to start your career. A lot of people don’t understand that you can get a degree through an apprenticeship. You are not choosing one or the other. ”


Click to enlarge infographic

Click to enlarge infographic

Over the past two years the 5% Club members have made significant grounds in tackling youth unemployment and the UK’s skills shortage. Collectively the campaign’s members have created over 36,000 opportunities for young people in the shape of apprentice, graduate and sponsored student training schemes.

As the campaign progresses the diversity of sectors have broadened greatly and now include companies in a variety of sectors from law to marketing and aerospace to travel and leisure.

Businesses across different regions of the UK are also increasingly committing to the 5% club pledge. While there are 22 companies in London and 29 in the South East part of the campaign, there are also 5 in Scotland, 9 in Yorkshire and 1 in wales.

Today we are reflecting on the campaign’s success whilst encouraging other businesses to make the commitment to young people. As well as the large amount of young people unemployed in the UK, businesses are increasingly struggling to source the skills they need to grow their workforce and we truly believe that young people provide the answer to this dilemma.

5% Club Inofgraphic-05

If your business believes that young people can be the leaders of tomorrow, then join us in a third year of campaigning to drive momentum into the recruitment of Britain’s youth.

5% Club Inofgraphic-04

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

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as well!


George Rawlins, Atkins

Whilst studying at college, George began an apprenticeship with Atkins in order to put this theoretical knowledge into practice. George dedicated the majority of his apprenticeship to working on Aero Structures. “I have had the chance to work and become familiar with a broad range of Computer Aided Design packages.” This practical, onsite learning came atGeorge Rawlins The 5% Club the same time as he was studying the theory at college, both of which complemented each other greatly.

George did not expect the diverse range of company sectors and career paths he would be exposed to and have the opportunity to discover as a result of his apprenticeship at Atkins. “From Building Services and Quality Surveying to Marine Electrical System Design, I have been fully immersed and able to explore numerous corners of the company.” This has opened many doors for George’s future. After spending six months on the Design Engineering workshop floor he has defined his ambition to become a Design Engineer and learnt the skills to achieve his career goals. George is grateful for the training he was provided with by Atkins and is looking forward to a bright and prosperous future with the company.

Natasha Pitts, Dale Power Solutions

Natasha was unsure of what career path she would take when she completed her A-Levels. After leaving school she took a Foundation Degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering and completed her NVQ4 with Derwent Training, another member of the 5% club. However, it was Natasha’s decision to embark upon an apprenticeship with Dale Power Solutions that confirmed her drive to pursue a career in engineering.

Untitled“Through the support and knowledge of colleagues and work based mentors at Dale Power Solutions, I have developed the skills to become an Electrical Design Engineer.” Over the past two years Natasha has been trained to provide power solutions for DC standby battery chargers and uninterruptable power supplies (UPS).

Working at Dale Power Solutions in a practical, industry specific environment has not only cultivated her engineering skills but has readily prepared her to achieve success within a working environment.

“I can apply the principles learnt at university and college directly into my role in the workplace.”

Two years on and Natasha is developing her technical skills even further. With Dale’s encouragement and support she is now studying part-time for a BEng(hons) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Hull. She is grateful for the opportunities provided by Dale Power Solutions, who have been acknowledged a number of times for their quality apprenticeship schemes and is ambitious to progress as one of the future leaders of the company.

To find out more information about the training schemes Atkins offer please visit

To find our more information about the opportunities Dale Power Solutions offer, please visit

To find out more information about The 5% Club and how to become a member, please visit or get in touch by emailing Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as well!