13 major Gloucestershire employers that love employing apprentices

Gloucestershire is not only blessed with a broad spread of businesses and organisations, many of them are also committed to giving youngsters the chance to learn on the job.

In partnership with | Renishaw.com | Gloucestershire College.ac.uk | Gloucestershire Engineering Training.org | University of Gloucestershire.ac.uk

Renishaw is a globally successful engineering firm, founded in 1973 by two former Rolls Royce engineering apprentices. It took on its first apprentices in 1979 and today, the business turns over more than £500 million annually.


Gloucestershire College helps more than 700 apprentices to qualify in sectors ranging from catering to computing each year. The college cultivates strong relationships with businesses of all sizes to understand what they need, and to support students through to a successful career.


Gloucestershire Engineering Training was founded in 1977 by a partnership of county businesses. It provides apprenticeship training for the county’s best and most innovative engineering firms and continues to support apprenticeships as a route to work and career development.


The University of Gloucestershire is an integral part of the county’s economy. It has forged strong links with businesses through its courses, its Business School, its part in the Growth Hub network and by introducing new higher apprenticeship opportunities.

Gloucestershire is blessed with a broad spread of businesses and organisations of all sizes from across a variety of sectors, with many committed to offering great apprenticeship opportunities.

Here we pick some of the biggest names investing in apprenticeships – at all levels, from those starting out through to degree and MBA level.


1. Renishaw

If we were judging on numbers alone, when it comes to offering apprenticeships in 2022, Wotton-under-Edge-headquartered, world-wide engineering success story, Renishaw would be the winner.

It opened the year with the news it had 80-plus such positions up for grabs, revealing in February 2022 it had already filled those places. That is on top 96 graduate vacancies it also released – which are almost filled.


2. Kohler Mira

Kohler Mira, best known for its brand Mira Showers, has a long history of successful early careers programmes and investment in its employees’ development – not least apprenticeships. It describes this commitment as a huge part of its culture.

Applications for apprenticeships at the Cheltenham manufacturer for 2022 are now closed, but its intake is annual with apprenticeships including both engineering and business related positions.


3. St James’s Place

Often lauded as the biggest firm in Gloucestershire by turnover, Cirencester wealth management firm St James’s Place currently has more than £150 billion of funds under management.

The firm continues to invest in not just its graduate training programme, but also apprenticeships – not least through the University of Gloucestershire. Apprentices join the firm in departments ranging from accountancy, project management and technology to HR and business operations.


4. Barnwood Limited

Gloucester-based Barnwood Limited is actually three distinctive divisions – construction, shopfitting and interiors and general works – with apprentices across the board, from the trades to marketing and administration.

In all of those divisions it prides itself on its ‘resourcefulness, drive for quality and in-house expertise’ – much of which is home-grown, with apprenticeships at the core of that talent pool. Something that has been the case since the firm started in 1962.


5. Dowty Propellors

The historic Dowty name continues to fly high in Gloucestershire thanks in most part to Dowty Propellors – part of the multi-million pound US aerospace giant GE Aviation and a firm that has remained committed to the county despite some major challenges.

Both Dowty and its parent company offer advanced manufacturing apprenticeships, engineering degree apprenticeships and business apprenticeships. It continues to place the route to work and training at the heart of its businesses.


6. Superdry

Just in case you thought apprenticeships were all about engineering and construction, as both St James’s Place (also featured in this list) and Superdry show, it is about one thing, and one thing only – good quality training.

Former chief executive officer Euan Sutherland launched Superdry’s apprenticeship scheme in early 2016, in partnership with Gloucestershire College, covering all departments at the iconic fashion brand and the Cheltenham-based fashion brand has not looked back.


7. Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust

Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust was formed in October 2019 from the merger of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust and Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust.

The trust provides integrated mental health, physical health and learning disability services to communities across Gloucestershire and to allow it to continue to do so, it invests annually in apprenticeships across its organisation.


8. Clarkson Evans

Since its humble beginnings in 1981 Clarkson Evans has championed apprenticeships – even opening its own specialist training centre at Staverton.

Now a nationwide company and one of the biggest electrical contractors in the UK, the firm continues to recruit apprentices who could be based at any of its 21 branches.


9. BorgWarner

Known as Delphi Technologies until October 2020, the Stonehouse-based business was also known as a champion of apprenticeships, forging strong links with schools and colleges and hosting its own annual apprenticeship awards.

Now be part of the American multi-national automotive supplier BorgWarner, it remains committed to apprenticeships – and a leading exponent in developing and delivering industry-leading propulsion products and systems across combustion, hybrid and electric vehicles.


10. BAE Systems Applied Intelligence

Defence giant BAE Systems Applied Intelligence has a Gloucester base where it carries out its ‘commitment to helping governments, organisations and society navigate digital threats and opportunities’.

The cyber and intelligence arm of BAE Systems employs more than 3,500 people around the world, with the main focus here in the UK. To allow it to continue its work, it invests in apprenticeships – like the Engineering MSc Degree Apprenticeship.


11. Spirax Sarco

At risk of making the whole list too engineering heavy, how can we ignore what is one of Cheltenham’s biggest private employers – and a business committed to apprenticeships.

As well as graduates it also invests in apprentices and at the time of publication of this article it had two vacancies – for an advanced technician and an advanced craft apprenticeship (Level 3 – equivalent of two A Levels). Secure one of those places and you will be a staff member at a firm with a global footprint.


12. Trelleborg

Tewkesbury seal manufacturing operations is one of the prime European production and development facilities within the global operations of Swedish giant Trelleborg, which has 24,000 staff.

It serves a huge range of sectors including the aerospace, automotive, oil and gas, medical and proudly partners with Gloucestershire College as its apprenticeship training provider.


13. Ontic

Ontic is one of the unsung heroes of the aerospace industry. It makes the parts that keep ‘legacy aircraft’ – civilian and military, of all shapes and sizes – in operation, producing the spares each plane needs as part of its portfolio of 6,500 products and 1,000,000 component parts.

And to ensure it continues to have the skills on hand to do just that, the firm’s Bishop’s Cleeve operation invests in apprentices.


By Andrew Merrell


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© SoGlos
Wednesday 09 March 2022

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