Press Release

National Apprenticeship Week – Balfour Beatty taking further action to help more young people into work

9 March 2015


Balfour Beatty, one of the early members of The 5% Club, is marking National Apprenticeship Week (9th -13th March) with a range of new commitments to help more young people find work in the growing infrastructure sector. Balfour Beatty is:

  • creating 150 new apprenticeship vacancies in civil engineering, construction and business disciplines. Opportunities are and
  • encouraging companies in its 7,000 strong UK supply chain to join The 5% Club and further boost apprenticeship numbers alongside industry training body, the CITB
  • partnering with 12 universities and colleges to deliver the new Trailblazer Higher and Degree Apprenticeships
  • recruiting a further 80 young people by the end of the year into the industry, through companies in the new Higher and Degree Apprenticeships Employers’ Consortium.

Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty’s Group Chief Executive and founder of The 5% Club, said: "There is a skills shortage, our industry needs talent and this is our biggest ever commitment to recruit apprentices. It’s a great sector to work in because we develop, build and run the infrastructure we all depend on in our daily lives.

“The commitments we are making today demonstrate the proactive role we are taking to provide sustainable career skills for this country’s youth, working with Government, universities and our supply chain partners to ensure that we attract young people into this growing infrastructure sector.”

Southampton Solent University is one of the Universities which Balfour Beatty has partnered with to deliver the Higher and Degree Apprenticeships scheme.  Jane Longmore, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), said: “We have been actively committed to the apprenticeship agenda for the last five years, developing higher and degree apprenticeships across our portfolio in close partnership with local and national employers, such as Balfour Beatty. We view degree apprenticeships as an entirely complementary part of our applied curriculum and as a significant professional route for our current and future students.”

Steve Radley, Director of Policy and Strategic Planning  from the CITB, said: “I’m delighted that Balfour Beatty is to work to encourage its supply chain join ‘The 5% Club’ because it sends such a strong signal to smaller contractors that often feel that the time and cost involved is a barrier to taking on apprentices. If we are to develop the skills to deliver the strong growth forecast over the next five years, is it vital that we  work together to help smaller businesses to overcome these perceptions and benefit from  the boost that apprenticeships can deliver to their businesses.” 

The new Higher and Degree Apprenticeship standards mark an increasingly professional approach to apprenticeships, enabling entrants to the industry to move more quickly into management roles where a further skills shortage is emerging.  They will be offered in Civil Engineering, Construction Management, Building Services Engineering, Design Co-ordination and Quantity Surveying.

New entrants will gain an HNC and Associate or Technician professional status in three years, followed by a full honours degree and ‘Incorporated’ or ‘Chartered’ status in a further three years.  They will gain excellent work experience, a range of additional industry qualifications and a firm foundation for an exciting and rewarding career in the infrastructure industry.

The new Higher and Degree Apprenticeships start in September of this year and were developed with the support of the Chartered Institute of Building, Institution of Civil Engineers, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers and Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists.

Media enquiries:

Scott Wilson
Tel: 07966 895 011

Notes to editors:

1. Balfour Beatty is a member of ‘The 5% Club’, an industry-led initiative focused on creating momentum behind the recruitment of apprentices and graduates into the workforce, and Balfour Beatty is committed to ensuring that at least 5% of its workforce is engaged in a formalised apprenticeship or sponsored or full time education within 5 years.

2. The universities and colleges partnering Balfour Beatty and the employer-led consortium developing Higher and Degree Apprenticeships are confirmed today as: Gateshead College, Leeds College of Building, Liverpool John Moores University, Birmingham City University, University of Derby, Stephenson College, University of the West of England, College of Estate Management, Oaklands College, Anglia Ruskin University, London South Bank University and Southampton Solent University.

3. The construction ‘Trailblazer’ Employers Consortium is led by Balfour Beatty and its members are BAM Construct, Carillion, Galliford Try, Lend Lease and Willmott Dixon.

4. CITB are the largest provider of apprentices for the construction industry, with over 45 years’ experience of developing skilled workers.

5. Balfour Beatty ( is a leading international infrastructure group. With 36,000 employees, we provide innovative and efficient infrastructure that underpins our daily lives, supports communities and enables economic growth. We finance, develop, build and maintain complex infrastructure such as transportation, power and utility systems, social and commercial buildings.

Our main geographies are the UK, US, Middle East and South East Asia. Over the last 100 years we have created iconic buildings and infrastructure all over the world including the London Olympics’ Aquatic Centre, Hong Kong’s first Zero Carbon building, the world’s biggest shopping mall in Dubai, the National Museum of the Marine Corps in the US and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

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