Blyth firm urging its young guns to go for it

From left, former apprentices Scott Farthing and Wayne Almond with Tharsus Group engineering supervisor Dave Graves.
From left, former apprentices Scott Farthing and Wayne Almond with Tharsus Group engineering supervisor Dave Graves.
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Blyth’s Tharsus Group factory has proved it it is looking to the future by joining the 5% Club.

The club is an industry-led initiative encouraging companies to ensure at least a 20th of their workforces are made up of young people.

Tharsus, a product developer and manufacturer for some of the world’s most innovative companies, is now looking to increase the number of apprentices, sponsored students and graduates it takes on.

The Cowley Road firm, founded in 1964, has a staff of 169, so membership of the club requires it to ensure eight of them are young people, a target it already has in its sights.

Six of its most recent intake of 11 apprentices have already been given full-time jobs with the company, and a recruitment drive for further trainees is under way.

The 5% Club was launched by defence and security firm QinetiQ in 2013 to tackle chronic skills shortages and youth unemployment.

Brian Palmer, chief executive of the Tharsus Group, said: “Businesses across the country need to take action to tackle the skills gap and youth unemployment.

“By doing so, a new generation of skilled workers will be created that are capable of satisfying the demand for accomplished employees.

“The investment in training and development will be worthwhile once these young people complete their journey and become integral members of the team, full of drive and fresh ideas, which is exactly what our previous group of apprentices has gone on to do.”

Sam Healy, programme director of the 5% Club said, “We’re delighted to welcome Tharsus 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.”

Originally a sheet metal fabrication company formed in 1964, Tharsus was acquired by Mr Palmer in 1997 and transformed into an original equipment designer and manufacturer.

Continuous growth and investment in manufacturing capability has seen it establish itself as one of the UK’s leading technology commercialisation specialists in complex electro-mechanical products.