CPI awarded gold standard for early career development

05 Nov 2021

We’re delighted to have been awarded Gold Standard from The 5% Club for our significant contribution towards developing employees through our early careers schemes.

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The 5% Club is made up of dynamic employers who are committed to incorporating inclusive and accessible workplace training. Upon joining the Club, CPI pledged that 5% of our workforce would be made up of employees in Earn and Learn’ schemes. Due to the success of these programmes across all areas of CPI, we’re proud that these employees currently make up 10% of our workforce. 

Following the 5% Club’s Employer Audit that explored activities and approaches to quality, social mobility, diversity and inclusion, CPI was recognised as one of the 58 employers who met the Gold Standard — the highest level attainable.

Hayley Carter, Learning and Development Business Partner at CPI, said: Our Earn and Learn’ programmes have thrived throughout the pandemic. Across science and innovation, a skilled workforce is invaluable, so we see the importance of creating space in the North East for the development of field-specific attributes.

We are proud that the investment in our early careers has been recognised with this award, but more so that we are making a lasting impact on the next generation of innovative scientists.”

Katie Richardson, former placement student and now graduate Process Engineer at CPI, said: Working at CPI afforded me the opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge I acquired at university in a challenging and supportive environment. Through working on multiple projects as a placement student I gained an invaluable insight into industrial biotechnology and process engineering as a whole.”

Due to the success of our current 15 year-long placement students, we’re more than doubling recruitment for next summer, with 32 placement positions available for early learners. The success of these programmes is demonstrated through the many people who go on to become full-time employees in our teams.

Downstream Scientist, Ben Gay, reflected on his experience as a CPI Degree Apprentice: Doing a degree apprenticeship through CPI has allowed me to step into the industry on my terms, making an impact as I completed my qualification. It gave me the opportunity to develop skills and experience whilst earning – an opportunity that wouldn’t have been available on a full-time taught course.”

Amy Smith, People Director, said: At CPI we deliver incredible things every day by having a team with a diverse range of skills and experience. We recognise the importance and prioritise both supporting the development of the next generation into the workplace, and continuously upskilling our existing workforce to enable them to stay leading in their fields of expertise.

Since joining the 5% club back in 2018 we have seen our Earn and Learn’ opportunities grow significantly and the success of our apprenticeship and year-long placement programmes is going from strength to strength each year.

We benefit from the return on the effort and commitment invested into those early in their career, and those transitioning from one career to another, via apprenticeships through the number of the high performing individuals who stay with CPI after their programmes have finished — especially in those disciplines with a skills shortage.

We couldn’t have achieved this without the help and support across the organisation from line managers, mentors, teams and senior leaders. Everyone has had a part to play in creating an environment where early career opportunities are a crucial part of our business growth and success.”

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