BETHELL’s 10 Year Apprenticeship Scheme Celebrated with New Entrants

This month, Bethell has welcomed five new entrants on to its well-established apprenticeship scheme in recognition and celebration of the programme’s ten year anniversary.

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These new entrants will have the opportunity to attain an NVQ2 Qualification through this apprenticeship scheme and will subsequently achieve an NVQ3 qualification. This opportunity will open many exciting doors into the working world for the apprentices as well as vital life experience to ensure they are fully prepared for a successful career.

All five apprentices have been selected from Bolton and its surrounding areas. Not only does Bethell wish to provide opportunities for youngsters entering the world of work but it continues to boost local employment opportunities through its work with the Highways Framework Partnership with Bolton Council.

Bethell Managing Director, Vinny O’Dowd has stressed the importance of investing in young people: “Our apprenticeship programme is vital in ensuring that we are adequately prepared for future skills shortages whilst at the same time supporting the local community.


Front row left to right Kester Cropper and Brandon Hayes, back row left to right Shea Roach, Ryan Crowder and Joshua Chapman

“Over the past ten years the programme has produced some outstanding tradesmen who are now amongst some of our most highly skilled and respected employees”. With this mentality, the company’s decision to join The 5% Club was a natural one.

For more information about the Bethell apprenticeship scheme please visit the company’s 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 onTwitter, and LinkedIn.



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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.

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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.

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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!

Umbrella Marketing TEAM commits to the next generation by joining The 5% Club

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Umbrella Marketing TEAM, outsourced marketing and digital services provider, has showcased its commitment to the next generation by joining The 5% Club.

By making the pledge, Umbrella Marketing TEAM has showcased its commitment to creating momentum behind the recruitment of graduates into the workforce. Additionally as the first marketing and digital business to join, the company hope to lead the professional agenda for creating rounded talent in this sector.

Umbrella Marketing TEAM’s fresh ambitious approach brings together established marketing experience with the latest university talents to deliver effective, innovative, and bespoke marketing operations and services.

Claire Davies, Head of Marketing Services at Umbrella Marketing TEAM said: “Our company is committed to ensuring that graduates are given a fair start in business. Here at Umbrella Marketing TEAM we actively source fresh graduates who have a desire to gain practical experience and build a solid foundation to carry forward into their future careers.”

“It’s about offering a job relating to their course and guiding them through the realities of today’s business,” she added.

Chris Airey, Managing Director of Umbrella Marketing TEAM and a UK digital leader proudly said “I started this business with a belief that we could deliver a business model that blends experience with new talent in a way that gives new entrants to the industry a rounded development that I hope they look back on proudly in the future creating a similar motivation to invest in the next generation.”

To find out more information about Umbrella Marketing TEAM 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 onTwitter and LinkedIn.

Nick Boles commends skills campaign The 5% Club as it reaches its 100 members

Business-led apprentices and graduates campaign The 5% Club has announced it has signed-up its 100th member – with its work being hailed by the Government in the process.


Skills Minister Nick Boles highlighted the drive of The 5% Club – which urges businesses of all sizes in the UK to recruit more apprentices, graduates and sponsored students – as the milestone was reached with nuclear power-plant Sellafield Ltd making it a century of members for the campaign.

Nick-Boles_2446600bMr Boles said: “Training workers and hiring apprentices are the fundamental building blocks to creating a richer, more productive and highly skilled workforce. Sellafield Ltd and The 5% Club set a great example for how employers can ensure young people receive the skills they and their industries need to succeed.”

Dr Sam Healy, Programme Director of the campaign and Group Corporate Responsibility Director of QinetiQ, the defence technology company that initiated the campaign said: “We’re delighted that we’ve reached 100 members and that the good work of the campaign has been celebrated by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Government has done a good job providing the ‘push’ for apprenticeships and graduate programmes but it is employers that can provide the ‘pull’ and create the jobs.

“The 5% Club pledge is a public commitment by industry that highlights this message and the specific part that British businesses play in sustaining a brighter future for our young people. By making sure we have the right pipeline of talent and skills to deliver, we can help the country achieve economic growth.”

The 5% Club which launched with just six members: QinetiQ, MBDA, Babcock, Renishaw, Atkins and Airbus in October 2013, calls on businesses to commit to ensuring that 5% of their workforce are apprentices, graduates or sponsored students within a five year time-frame.


In nearly two years of campaigning, the club has seen companies ranging from micro entities to FTSE 250 companies commit to the pledge with more than half of all members being SMEs. The campaign has received support from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Ministry of Defence who became a member earlier in the year.

The 5% Club has become a support network for British businesses and members meet on a quarterly basis to share best practice of how to provide high quality earn and learn opportunities for young people.

Les Agnew, Head of Education and Skills at Sellafield Ltd said: “One of Sellafield Ltd’s most important investments is the skills and development of the next generation of professionals; this is why we take such pride in having one of the most reputable apprentice schemes in the UK.

“Becoming the 100th member of The 5% Club allows us to publically share our commitment to helping the country’s growth agenda and acknowledges the importance of developing our people as both a business and social imperative.

“We aim to play a role in transforming the fortunes of young, talented people in the UK and to ensure that the country, and Sellafield Ltd, retains its reputation for innovation.”

Along with 100th member Sellafield Ltd, The 5% Club welcomes 10 other new members Maurice Flynn & Sons, H E Simm, Umbrella Marketing Team, Tharsus Group, Wilmott Dixon, Osborne, Armour Construction, Wates, Brookfield Multiplex and Keepmoat taking its total membership to 110 British businesses in total.

The aim of the campaign is to tackle both the chronic skills shortage and youth unemployment in Britain and help the country remain at the forefront of innovation. It also asks members to publicly report their progress in their Annual Report.

Collectively responsible for more than 300,000 employees in the UK, the members of The 5% Club are already providing more than 36,000 opportunities for young people, exceeding the campaign’s initial goals. The programme’s founding members all look forward to strengthening the campaign’s relationship with the government and working together to safeguard the future of the British economy.


 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.

For press enquiries, please contact Claire McAdam or Neil McLeod at PHA Media on 0207 0251 358 or

About Sellafield Ltd

Sellafield Ltd is the company responsible for safely delivering decommissioning of the UK’s nuclear legacy as well as fuel recycling and the management of low, high and intermediate level nuclear waste activities on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.Sellafield Ltd are safely delivering nuclear decommissioning, waste management and commercial operations and by continually raising our performance we will achieve the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s (NDA) vision to become the site and workforce of choice for potential new missions.

In 2015 Sellafield Ltd will take on 200 new apprentices — the highest ever intake in the site’s 65-year history. The latest recruitment drive will take the number of apprentices in training with Sellafield Ltd past 500.

Please visit for more information.

Luke Barrow: Why A-level grades aren’t the end of the world


We recently heard from Luke Barrow, an aeronautical engineering apprentice at QinetiQ, the founding member of The 5% Club.

Last week, young people up and down the country received the news of their A-level results. For many, upon opening tearing open their results they discovered that they got the grades that they wanted and were going to the university they’d hoped for. For others, their worst nightmare; grades below expectations and no university place. The clearing system is there as a safety net for those that still wish to continue into further education despite not getting the grades they needed. Luke believes and witnessed first-hand, that there are better options available for school leavers.

One year ago, Luke was one of those students tearing open his results. Whilst sitting his exams, he wasn’t certain about what he wanted to do next. He admitted that he “had been sitting on the fence for a while about university versus an apprenticeship”. At school he was informed, as many young people are, that university was the only real way into a solid career with job security and a good salary.

Whilst at school he worked part time in the evenings, on the weekends and during his holidays at a local store. Whilst working in the store, someone brought up the prospect of engineering in conversation. “At that stage I was thinking about maybe something to do with the sciences,” said Luke. “But when a customer suggested doing some work experience at his firm, I leapt at the chance and that experience changed my future.”

”I started to seriously look at the world of engineering and saw that a degree was not the only option and other training routes, such as an apprenticeship, might be preferable,” he said .

Whilst studying for his A-levels, Luke began researching firms and positions that could be interesting on websites such as He came across a couple of different roles and the one that really caught his eye was the explosives engineer apprenticeship programme with QinetiQ. He applied to the programme on and despite being accepted onto a couple of different programmes, he decided that QinetiQ’s programme was the one for him.

“By the time I went to pick up my results, I already knew what the next step in my journey was going to be. However, I was still nervous on results day because I wanted to know I had done well, but I knew I was going to start work in the September so felt the pressure was off.”

Since Luke started the apprenticeship his time has been spent between classroom based workshops and the training hangar where he is currently learning how to repair military aircraft. The apprenticeship has allowed him to earn and learn at the same time, giving him an excellent foundation for his career as an engineer without student debt.

His advice to others thinking about following him down the apprenticeship route rather than going to university is: “You shouldn’t be swayed by what everyone else is doing, trust your own instincts and research all of your options carefully.” He also found the website Not Going to Uni ( really useful with some great information on apprenticeships and vocational learning, as well as interview advice and tips on writing your CV.

“I also think it’s really important to get as much work experience as possible as it gives you something to talk about”. Additionally, he said, “Be prepared to work hard, and keep an eye out for opportunities, you never know where they may come from”.

To find out more about QinetiQ and the opportunities they 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 Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as well!

Civica commits to the next generation by joining The 5% Club


Civica, a market leader in specialist software, technology and outsourcing services that help organisations transform the way they work, has demonstrated its commitment to the next generation by joining The 5% Club.

Civica has made a commitment to raise the number of apprentices, placement students and graduates to 5% of its total workforce within five years.

Apprentices at Civica perform a range of roles across the business, including finance, ICT, customer support and business administration.

Tom Littlewood joined Civica’s Health & Social Care division as an Apprentice Support Analyst in September 2014. Working towards his Level 3 Apprenticeship, Tom feels his training has given him a good platform to follow a career path in the IT industry.

He comments, “Civica has been a great place to start my career, being part of a growing business provides lots of opportunities to get involved in challenging new projects. Since joining Civica I feel I have grown in confidence. I’ve improved my communication skills and enhanced my IT skills whilst gaining new qualifications.”

Civica recognises the importance of investing in its employees, Wendy Merry, Group HR Director, Civica explains “As an ‘Investors in People’ Gold accredited employer, we believe our people are not just an invaluable asset but a real differentiator for us. That’s why we continue to invest in our people and supporting The 5% Club is another way for us to develop a culture of innovation by supporting the next generation.”

To find out more about Civica 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 Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as well!

VolkerWessels UK join The 5% Club


We have just recently welcomed VolkerWessels UK to the campaign.

VolkerWessels UK brings together six separate operating companies in collaboration across multi-disciplinary projects, whilst also providing commercial and back office support.

All of its UK companies; VolkerFitzpatrick, VolkerRail, VolkerStevin, VolkerHighways, VolkerLaser and VolkerInfra have a long and successful heritage, each founded by entrepreneurs they have gone on to achieve a long history of success through hard work, innovation and excellence.

Companies operating under VolkerWessels UK are renowned for delivering quality work in the disciplines of highways, civil engineering, construction, railway engineering, steel foundations, pipeline and cable installation, marine works, flood protection and land reclamation.

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Located across the length and breadth of the UK the company employs over 2,400 employees. The group now ranks as a top ten civil engineering contractor based in the United Kingdom.

_C3A6447The group’s Dutch parent organisation VolkerWessels is a major European construction group with a turnover in excess of €4.5 billion.

VolkerWessels pride themselves on offering young people a number of different quality training and development opportunities from site based on the job apprenticeships to university degree programmes with industry experience.

The company’s training programmes help its staff develop the skills they need to thrive in the construction industry and help them develop an experienced workforce that understands and adopts the company’s vision.

VolkerWessels staff on these training programmes currently make up 8.6% of the company’s UK workforce on projects across the country.

Andrew Edge, VolkerWessels UK HR director said: “VolkerWessels UK places great importance in the recruitment and retention of skilled and motivated people.

“We are delighted to become a member of The 5% Club and hope, through our 446membership that we showcase VolkerWessels UK as an attractive career option as well as driving industrywide recruitment of young people.”

 For more information about VolkerWessels UK 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 Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as well!