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Responsible employer

Trainee-intake

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

Bentley supports and encourages Colleagues to develop personally and professionally through a variety of training programmes. All Colleagues are able to take control of their own development, and can choose to participate in courses that will add value to their development within Bentley. The company also leverages the Apprenticeship Levy Funding for both individual and group development programmes such as Improvement Practitioner and Post-Graduate Engineer.

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FUTURE TALENT

Bentley has a long track record of training future talent through development programmes. In 2019, 93 new apprentices, graduates and undergraduates joined the company. Fifteen of those entered the Digital Apprenticeship scheme to support Bentley’s continued focus on digital transformation, to enhance products, services and experiences for customers. Bentley’s commitment to developing future talent has been recognised through a number of awards, most notably the Top Automotive Employer for School Leavers in 2019. Many Colleagues who began their careers as an apprentice have subsequently passed down their knowledge to the next generation of craftspeople at the Bentley factory, at Cheshire College (SW) and through partner training providers. The company also supports regional and national forums such as the Automotive Trailblazer Group, Automotive Council and North West Apprenticeship Ambassador Network. Bentley trainees also participate in a range of charity and CSR activities as part of their programmes, such as work with the Prince’s Trust TEAM programme, and Young Enterprise.

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SCHOOL ENGAGEMENT

Bentley engages with schools and colleges in the community by offering more than 150 work experience placements each year, giving students the opportunity to gain insights into almost all areas of the business. The company also works in partnership with Cheshire College to offer Technical Industry Placements to adapt to the changing education landscape where work experience is important for employability. Bentley also hosts ‘Girls in Manufacturing’ and ‘Girls in Engineering’ days. These exclusively female events are held at Bentley’s flagship showroom, CW1 House in Crewe, where Bentley trainees share their experiences with students, providing an incentive to young women to join the current 750 female Colleagues working at Bentley. The company supports local primary school Leighton Academy to participate in the Engineering and Technology (IET) Formula Goblin project, which encourages primary school children to be active in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). Bentley trainees visit the school to help pupils build and race battery-powered cars. In 2018, the Leighton Academy team, supported by the Bentley trainees, finished third out of over 30 schools, while the car they built won the ‘Best Bodywork’ award.

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UNIVERSITY TECHNICAL COLLEGE (UTC)

Bentley is a founding member of the new Crewe University Technical College (UTC), which provides an exciting engineering and product design educational offering. Crewe Engineering and Design UTC is driven by a collaboration between Bentley and other business partners, the local Council and university. As an active partner to the school, Colleagues serve as members of the trust, governors and mentors, and provide input into the college curriculum. Following the completion of their studies, students have gone on to successfully apply for a place on the Bentley Apprenticeship scheme, which was recognised as the best in the country at the 2017 UK School Leavers awards. The UTC also achieved a ‘Good’ OFSTED rating in its first OFSTED inspection.

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VOLUNTEERING

Many Bentley Colleagues are active in charitable work in their free time. The Rotary Club of Bentley Cheshire meets weekly to socialise and help coordinate community projects. Since its formation, Colleagues have dedicated thousands of hours to community service projects. These include renovating a garden centre for cancer patients at a local hospital, raising funds for a children’s hospice and setting up a temporary street kitchen for the homeless.

As part of trainee programmes at Bentley, all apprentices, undergraduate placement students and graduates are asked to take part in local volunteering projects within the community. Since 2016, Bentley trainees have supported the Prince’s Trust, which helps to deliver the TEAM programme in Crewe.

The Prince’s Trust helps young people aged 16-30 to get their lives on track by providing initiatives that aim to equip participants with valuable skills.

Bentley also encourages trainees to support Young Enterprise events in the North West of England, which promote business start-ups and innovation to help young people develop their entrepreneurial skills.

Bentley has supported the Wingate Special Children’s Trust financially, and with volunteers, to help create a sensory nature trail for children with complex care needs. The Trust welcomes 600 children and their carers for respite holidays. It receives no government funding and relies solely on the generosity of Bentley, other local businesses and individuals for sustenance.

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WORKING WITH CHARITIES

Bentley is a founding member of the Cheshire Community Foundation, which provides funding for community projects that often struggle to secure financial backing. The charity manages the Bentley Fund, which ensures that the company’s annual donation is effectively channelled into local projects.

To date, Bentley has donated over £140k to the Cheshire Community Foundation. Projects such as the Wishing Well Project, based in Crewe, have been given financial support by the Bentley Fund. The Wishing Well Project exists to improve participants’ health and wellbeing through activities such as one-to-one counselling and group counselling, helping socially isolated young people integrate into society.

Another initiative that Bentley has helped to support financially through the Bentley Fund is Christians against Poverty. This project aims to provide free debt counselling services to families in the area who are struggling with financial difficulties. As of May 2019, the Bentley Fund has supported 18,584 individuals.

Bentley focuses its charitable activity locally, tackling issues impacting its Colleagues and neighbours in Crewe, Cheshire and Staffordshire. The company operates a charity committee that meets monthly to support both local and Colleague funding requests.

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AWARDS

As a major local employer, Bentley supports a number of local awards. These include the Company of the Year Award for the Northern Automotive Alliance, Young Business Person of the Year for Cheshire Business Awards, Contribution to the Community for South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce and Signal 1 & 2 radio stations’ Local Hero Award.

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