Hull engineering firm gives permanent jobs to 14 apprentices who all came from the same school

A Hull engineering firm has given permanent contracts to all 14 apprentices from the largest ever intake of its training scheme.

The 14 apprentices from Ron Dearing UTC's class of 2019 now have full-time roles with Spencer Group

All 14 of the trainees joined Spencer Group in 2019 straight from the same school - employer-led Ron Dearing University Technical College in Hull - at the age of 18.

As part of their apprenticeship, they moved between placements in several areas of the business before applying for full-time roles in a specialism of their choice.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Another five apprentices were recruited from Ron Dearing UTC in 2020 and nine have been taken on this year. Spencer Group is one of the school's founding partners and has committed to taking on a group of trainees from the school each year.

Matthew Hunter trained as an engineer but has now secured a role in the quantity surveying team

Executive chairman Charlie Spencer OBE said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have taken on every single one of the apprentices we recruited two years ago in a permanent, full-time position.

“Each of them has been selected by the specific team they are going to be working within and I think that speaks volumes about the quality of the apprentices we are hiring from Ron Dearing UTC.

“They are all at the required academic level, have excellent technical and employability skills and, perhaps most importantly, have a brilliant attitude.

“We will be taking on a new group of apprentices from Ron Dearing UTC each year as this is a proven pipeline of future talent for us as our business continues to grow.”

Trainee engineer Alex Burr is one of the latest apprentice recruits from Ron Dearing UTC

Based at Humber Quays on Hull Marina, Spencer Group is one of the UK’s leading privately owned, multi-disciplinary engineering businesses, with a directly-employed workforce of over 250.

Every apprentice that secures a permanent position with Spencer Group continues their academic development by studying up to degree level with one of the company’s education partners. They are also given the option of studying for a Master’s degree.

HR director Yvonne Moir said: “The appointment of this full cohort of apprentices to permanent positions in the company is proof that this recruitment model works.

“It is crucial for us to have a talent stream that fits the specific needs of our business and Ron Dearing UTC provides exactly that.

“The apprentices are all prepared for the world of work when they join us and it has been amazing how quickly they have adapted to the business. It’s as though they have been working here for years.”

Matthew Hunter, 21, joined as an engineering apprentice but later switched his focus to quantity surveying.

He said: “I planned to specialise in design but, having had the opportunity to experience different departments of the business, I now know this is the best fit for me.

“I’m absolutely delighted to have been given this opportunity and I just want to keep developing and help Spencer Group as a business as much as I can, because everyone here has been so supportive.”

While new trainee Alex Burr, 18, who has just joined from Ron Dearing, added: “Spencer Group were my number one choice company to work for when I was at Ron Dearing, so I’m really excited to be here. Now that I’ve started, I just can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Spencer Group delivers innovative engineering and construction solutions in the rail, bridges, transport, infrastructure, materials handling, energy and industrial sectors.