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The South West Apprenticeship Company commits to ‘earn and learn’ by joining The 5% Club

The South West Apprenticeship Company (SWAC) has showcased its commitment to developing its people by joining The 5% Club, an industry-led initiative focused on driving momentum into the recruitment of apprentices, graduates and sponsored students.

The 5% Club, initiated by Leo Quinn Group CEO of Balfour Beatty in 2013, is a movement of more than 700 employers providing ‘earn and learn’ opportunities to develop the skills and talents that people need to become more employable and to embark on meaningful careers.

Companies joining the club commit to raising the number of apprentices, sponsored students and graduates on formal programmes to five per cent of their workforce within five years.

SWAC, one of the original Apprenticeship Training Agencies, has supported and mentored their apprentices placed within host organisations for 14 years. 

They create sustainable opportunities by ensuring apprentices get the most from their experience, realise their full potential and help them to progress onto the next stage of their career path. 

SWAC have employed over 1000 apprentices in the South West, working across all sectors and has developed a bespoke mentoring programme that works with the host and apprentice at every stage of the journey to ensure that the apprenticeship has maximum impact.

Clare Vertigen, Managing Director of SWAC said: “As a small business owner, I understand the difficulty and importance of finding the right skills to achieve business growth and how important it is to support and mentor your apprentices to help them achieve their own personal goals and aspirations.

“As part of the apprentice development process we created the SWAC Apprenticeship Review Framework which is used by our apprentice mentors to document and focus on the apprentices’ personal and professional development, progression and impact they are making within their workplace. This process allows apprentices and their managers to benefit from focused planning and review, adding responsibility, stretch and challenge to the roles and, in turn, gaining greater professional development.

“I am really proud of the support we give our apprentices and what they have all achieved; I love supporting the local Apprenticeship Ambassador Network to promote apprenticeships to new organisations and skills development in our region; and becoming a member of The 5% Club is the icing on the cake!”

Gill Cronin, Director of Operations of The 5% Club said: “We’re delighted to welcome the South West Apprenticeship Company into membership. The 5% Club provides a fantastic network of HR professionals, sharing and learning from each other.  All our members share an ethos of creating a skilled workforce through ‘earn and learn’ development programmes, helping people to develop meaningful career paths.”

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