By joining the 5% club, the Transport Research Laboratory has demonstrated its commitment to training future engineers and scientists.
TRL, the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory, has showcased its commitment to the next generation by joining The 5% Club, an industry lead initiative focused on driving momentum into the recruitment of apprentices, graduates and sponsored students.
Initiated by defence technology company QinetiQ, the campaign aims to tackle the chronic skills shortage and youth unemployment in Britain, as well as helping the country to remain at the forefront of innovation. By joining the club, TRL has committed to ensuring that 5% of its UK workforce will be apprentices, graduates or sponsored students on structured programmes within the next five years.
TRL has been highly regarded for many decades for its independent, evidence-based research and world-leading innovation in the transport and mobility marketplace. The company is committed to bringing in new recruits as part of its ongoing strategy for sustainable, profitable growth and currently employs two apprentices and 14 graduates.
As well as joining The 5% club, TRL is also focused on developing the next generation of talent through a number of other means. The company is a member of WISE, a campaign to inspire more girls and women to study and build careers in science, technology and engineering, and has committed to awarding three A-level students with scholarships in October via the Arkwright Scholarship Trust. It also has strong relationships with a number of universities including the University of Surrey; Coventry University and University of Birmingham, as well as professional bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT); Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE); Institute of Physics (IOP) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).
To aid staff development, TRL also launched and runs the TRL Academy, an internal programme which helps employees progress their careers by widening their opportunities for advancement and professional development. Through the TRL Academy, staff can seek sponsorship for membership of and progression through relevant professional bodies, as well as support for training and attendance at appropriate courses.
In addition, as an affiliated, research centre to the Open University, TRL can also teach post-graduate qualifications up to PhD level, with staff members encouraged to apply for Academy funding to support this endeavour.
“As a knowledge-based business, we’re focused on building high performing teams that push the boundaries of creativity and evidence-based thinking. We have a strong track record of investing in and providing opportunities for young people and have developed many of our recruits into world-renowned experts in their field. Our focus on continuous development is reflected in our staff retention rates – the average length of service within the company is just under 10 years, while 13% of our workforce has been with us for more than 20 years.”
Dr Sam Healy, Programme Director of The 5% Club added; “We’re delighted to welcome TRL to the initiative. The company’s existing efforts to invest in the next generation are greatly welcomed and together we can strive towards a brighter future for young people in Britain.”