Shepley Engineers Ltd commits to the The 5% Club

SHEPLEY - SEL

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.

Shepley

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!”

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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 www.shepleyengineers.co.uk

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

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Dale Power Solutions Job Shadow

During National Apprenticeship Week, The 5% Club member Dale Power Solutions held a job swap involving the company’s senior staff and apprentices.

Andrew Marr, Dale Power Solutions’ Finance Director, joined apprentices on a cold Scarborough morning to take part in a community renovating project. Swapping his calculator for a shovel, Andrew worked alongside Dale’s Brathay Challenge Apprentice team and tried his hand at gardening .

Watch his interview with leading apprentice Natasha Pitts below, and head over to Dale Power Solutions’ website to learn more about their efforts during National Apprenticeship Week.

Vision Express welcomes new recruits during National Apprenticeship Week

Vision Express, The 5% Club

The 5% Club member Vision Express has marked National Apprenticeship Week by announcing the arrival of 15 school and college leavers onto their apprenticeship programme.

The group have embarked on a 13 month employer-embedded programme where they will work towards a Level 2, Intermediate Apprenticeship in Health- the equivalent to 5 GCSEs.

Vision Express apprenticesMeanwhile, as the latest recruits get settled in, the high street opticians are on the lookout for a further 20 apprentices, having opened applications to their Spring apprenticeship intake.

In October, Vision Express became the first high street retailer to join The 5% Club, having pledged to meet the 5% employment target as specified in the Club’s Charter.

Jonathan Lawson, CEO of Vision Express, said: “It’s fantastic to have our new recruits on board. They should be extremely proud of themselves for securing a place on this apprenticeship programme, given the volume and calibre of candidates who applied. We are really pleased with the programme we have developed, and hope the apprentices take full advantage of the training and career opportunities available to them. We wish them every success for their future with Vision Express.”

To keep an eye on the progress of The 5% Club and its members, follow us on Twitter @5PercentClubUK. To learn more about Vision Express’ recruitment programe

The 5% Club Case Study: Anna Schlautmann

The 5% Case Studies offers you an insight into the daily life’s of the apprentices and graduates of the Club’s 19 members. This week, our focus is on award winning MBDA apprentice Anna Schlautmann. Anna was named Apprentice of the Year at the 2013 Manufacturer Awards in December. Read more about Anna’s experiences as a third year Logistics Apprentice at MBDA.

Anna Schlautmann receives her award from Pera Training Chief Executive Richard Grice Copyright Manufacturer 2013

1. What persuaded you to pursue an apprenticeship at MBDA?

I knew that doing an apprenticeship would benefit me more than going to University alone. This is due to the full-time work experience that can be gained, alongside studying the theory at degree level and an NVQ 4. The balance requires hard work and diligence at both.

2. What is your current role?

I am currently a third year Logistics Apprentice working in a placement that involves maintaining the resource pool in manufacturing and analysing the manufacturing workload. This has a vast impact on the business because it helps the business to understand where it needs to maintain skills and knowledge as well as where to meet the project requirements. I have also worked in Project Management on a multi-national missile contract. I was responsible for raising potential risks and opportunities to the project.

3. Describe your daily role at MBDA and the variety of programmes/tasks your involved with.

At MBDA I rotate within placements, for example Supply Chain, Project Management and Logistics. I regularly go into schools and colleges to promote apprenticeships, and specifically women in manufacturing. So far in my apprenticeship, I have visited and presented to 15 schools and colleges, promoting engineering and apprenticeships. This is not solely to inspire young individuals; it is also to influence teachers and parents to know that apprenticeships are a positive route to take.

As teachers and parents are the main influencers of children these days, I ensure that I create a positive image of apprenticeships among that community as well as the young generation, as in my opinion an apprenticeship is the best route.  I am determined to be a role model for apprenticeships; I have therefore chosen to become a STEM ambassador as I would like to inspire young people.

I also co-ordinate the charity challenge team, it is a pleasure to make a difference and host events for charities.

4. What has been the highlight of your apprenticeship so far?

I have had many highlights in my apprenticeship, for example meeting several MPs, touring the house of commons, competing in the national Brathay Apprentice Challenge, promoting manufacturing apprenticeships to girls and making a difference in the workplace. However my biggest highlight was winning the Manufacturer’s National Manufacturer Apprentice of the Year in December 2013.

5. Does an apprenticeship offer benefits that other career routes cannot match? 

I believe that if you compare an apprenticeship to going to university alone, university cannot live up to an apprenticeship. If I was at university I would need work experience to be employable. An apprenticeship offers constant work experience alongside your qualifications, this enables apprentices to understand the business environment and more than any individual studying theory alone.

01-Anna-Schlautmann © MBDA UK Ltd

6. How would you persuade more females to pursue a career in engineering?

I promote apprenticeships at careers events in which two of the new females apprentices who joined this year are a result of me speaking to them at these careers events. I think it is vital for students to see the female apprentices promoting apprenticeships themselves.

Females are not often promoted within applying for engineering, which means they may be discouraged to do so. 50% of apprentices at MBDA are female, so you can ensure that there is no problem with females working in a manufacturing environment.

7. What are your aims for the duration of your apprenticeship?

I aim to achieve a first class honours in my Business Management BA (Hons) degree and I aim to achieve excellent reviews and feedback for all my placements. I also wish to make a real difference and large contribution to the business.

I constantly ask for more opportunities to learn which is my main aim, as I recognise that I am the future of the business and need to ensure I am in shape for this. At MBDA we have experienced workforce and many of our systems have a 30 lifecycle so there this is extreme challenge in terms of demographics. I need to ensure I contribute to this meaningfully and ensure that logistics and business knowledge from the skilled retiring workforce is transferred to myself to ensure vital skills are not lost.

8. What advice would you offer young people seeking an apprenticeship?

If anyone is considering doing an apprenticeship, I would definitely recommend it. Gaining work experience is a fantastic opportunity that not many young people are able to experience.

 

 

Four New Companies Join The 5% Club

The 5% Club have kicked off 2014 with the signing up of four new companies, including Balfour Beatty and Thales. All of the new members have committed to the Club Charter, ensuring that 5% of their workforce are apprentices, graduates or sponsored students on structured programmes within the next five years.

The four new members to join The 5% Club are:

  • Balfour Beatty– An international infrastructure group, with 20,000 employers in the UK.
  • Thales– One of the UK’s leading engineering and technology companies.
  • The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory– The MOD’s science and technology organisation.
  • Attenda– One of the UK’s largest data centre and Cloud supplier.

The four new additions brings the current number of companies in The 5% Club to 18 and the total number of UK employees to 100,000.

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Balfour Beatty Chief Executive, Andrew McNaughton said: “The growth of the construction industry will be vital to helping the UK economic recovery, but at the same time the industry is facing the prospect of a skills shortage. By helping young people to get into work with the proper training and qualifications we can ensure the sustainability of our own business and the wider communities in which we work.”

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Victor Chavez, CEO of Thales UK, said: “Organisations that do not invest in the next generation are not only failing to secure their own future, they are also failing in their responsibility to the young people of the UK.  For Thales to remain at the forefront of the UK’s engineering and technology projects, and more broadly for the UK to have the right level of engineering and technical skills to meet future global demand, we must ensure we have excellent training and development programmes in place.

Thales has a strong culture of training and development that stretches back decades and we have developed a comprehensive suite of training experiences for young people – including our excellent graduate development programme, apprentice schemes, internships and other mentoring initiatives that combine learning and working. Our membership of The 5% Club demonstrates Thales Group’s long-term commitment to training and Thales UK’s commitment to the young people of the UK.”

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Dstl’s Chief Executive Jonathan Lyle said: “As a public sector science and technology organisation, Dstl is delighted to join The 5% club. We are passionate about supporting and employing young people by offering a variety of opportunities including apprenticeships, industrial placements, Year In Industry placements and graduate opportunities – they bring innovation and fresh ideas into our workforce as well as helping us to play our part in addressing the UK’s skills shortages.”

Attenda_The-5%-Club

Leo Quinn, CEO of QinetiQ Group PLC, a founder member of The 5% Club, said: “The breadth of different organisations to have signed up – from construction to law – shows how widely youth unemployment is seen as a national issue – and how much industry wants to raise our skills training in the UK.

“This is a terrific start to 2014 for The 5% Club and we urge other companies to follow Balfour Beatty, Thales, Osborne Clarke, DSTL and Attenda in signing up.”

Companies wishing to sign up to The 5% Club or which simply would like more information can visit www.5percentclub.org.uk or email contactus@5percentclub.org.uk

Seen & Heard: This Week in The 5% Club

Yesterday’s Autumn Statement is the primary talking point of the week, with the announcement by Chancellor George Osborne that apprenticeships are to be given a £40m boost with the aim of producing a further 20,000 higher apprentices over the next two years.

Ben Griffiths referenced The 5% Club in yesterday’s autumn statement round-up in the Daily Mail:

The 5% Club Autumn Statement

“The move is backed by The 5% Club… the group wants 5pc of the workforce in apprenticeships by 2015.”

Away from the Autumn Statement and moving on to more success stories from our members, QinetiQ’s Lauren Hill was named Most Inspirational Apprentice at the Stemnet Awards 2013 last week.

Lauren, an apprentice at the QinetiQ Apprentice Training School at MOD Boscombe Down, was rewarded for ‘her commitment, enthusiasm, dedication and natural ability to communicate her excitement about working as an apprentice’.

“Winning the STEMNET Award for Most Inspirational Apprentice was fantastic, and a great surprise!”

As part of her win, Lauren has received a trip to CERN in Geneva – home of the Large Hadron Collider – provided by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

To cap off another eventful week at The 5% Club, we are delighted to welcome the latest company to sign the Club charter- Seaway Powell Marine, a leading figure from within the marine industry.

Stay tuned for more partner updates next week. Follow us on Twitter for all the latest from The 5% Club

The 5% Club Case Study: Tom Wheatley

In the latest in the series of The 5% Club case studies, we take a look at Tom Wheatley, a third year QinetiQ  aeronautical apprentice at MOD Boscombe Down. Find out more about Tom’s daily role, plus his thoughts on The 5% Club.

Tom Wheatley The 5% ClubBefore I embarked on my apprenticeship at QinetiQ, I did A-Levels with the aim of being a landscape designer.  I decided to take time out of education and worked for a year but realised gardening wasn’t for me.

After looking at various options, what I knew I didn’t want to do was to go to university. I learn practically and, although Uni is right for some careers, apprenticeships are great for practical learners like me. So the path that I decided to go down was to train as an apprentice with a view to entering the engineering industry, developing valuable skills whilst learning ‘on the job’. Despite strong competition, I was fortunate enough to enrol at the QinetiQ Apprentice Training School at MOD Boscombe Down, and I can safely say that I haven’t looked back since.

My dad was a one-time apprentice and his experiences helped me to understand what an apprenticeship entailed and the opportunities that it could hand me.

What I really like about the QinetiQ apprenticeship scheme is the sheer versatility of the programme. Upon enrolling, my initial ambition was to train to become an aircraft engineer. However, the breadth of learning here and the proximity you have to different areas of the company has meant that my career path has changed.

At QinetiQ, you can really carve out your own career without being pigeonholed, whilst still developing a wide set of skills that are transferrable. The company allows you to target your own goals, and they provide you with all the support and rewards you need.

Another aspect of the apprenticeship that I have really benefited from is the opportunity to work within the company itself, amongst experienced QinetiQ staff. Working alongside my future colleagues has enabled me to earn their respect and it represents a great practical experience too.

Throughout my apprenticeship at QinetiQ, I have worked in a calm and unpressurised environment that has allowed me to refine and develop various skills, ready for real-world situations. There is a newly refurbished aircraft hangar at MOD Boscombe Down which now forms part of the QinetiQ Apprentice Training School, and will be a hugely important aspect of our practical education.

The hangar now gives students much more space and provides us with the right equipment to develop skills, including de-commissioned aircraft that will be used for practical lessons.

There are two rotary-aircraft within the hangar: a Lynx and a Gazelle helicopter, as well as a fixed-wing Bulldog aircraft, aircraft engines and components. My fellow apprentices and myself are going to gain vast experience working on these  and by learning ‘live’ in this environment, we are getting a head start on others who enter the industry as undergraduates.

Tom’s thoughts on The 5% Club:

The 5% Club is a very positive and important initiative. Apprenticeships are a rather unknown entity amongst school leavers and that is something that I feel must change.

Young people are often presented with just two choices when leaving school; start working with no training, or go to university. Apprenticeships have until recently been seen as an unattractive ‘other’ route, and aren’t fully understood by school leavers.  From my own experience, apprenticeships are a comparable option to University and a fantastic way to get into the work place. They can increase chances of employment, whilst also being paid at the same time – that is something that a university course cannot compete with.

If the 5% Club can increase awareness of apprenticeships schemes as well as inspire other companies to provide further opportunities for those who wish to get their foot on the careers ladder, then it could have a massive impact on my generation.