Spencer Group opens door to new apprentices as five Ron Dearing students join the team

Five Ron Dearing UTC students have begun apprenticeships at one of the UK’s leading privately-owned engineering businesses.

It’s the second consecutive year Hull-based Spencer Group has taken on students from the employer-led school and they follow in the footsteps of 14 previous Ron Dearing students who remain on their apprenticeship journey with the company after taking up their positions last year.

Web development apprentices Corben Spencer and Charlie Hutty, engineering apprentices Tom Dubej and Olly Kneeshaw, and commercial apprentice Oliver Walkington, all 18, will gain knowledge and skills in their respective teams while also studying with various education and training providers.

Spencer Group is a Founding Partner of Ron Dearing UTC and supports students through career advice and guidance, setting industry standard projects, work experience and more, as well as offering as many as possible the chance to join the business as apprentices.

Tom, from Hornsea, will complete a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Construction and the Built Environment through North Lindsey College in Scunthorpe over two years.

He said: “I’ve always wanted to go into engineering and this apprenticeship is a perfect fit for me.

“Ron Dearing UTC has given me a better feel for the adult world. The support was great and it was our responsibility to prioritise our time to study, which has helped to prepare me for work.

“Spencer Group is such an innovative company and I’m very proud to work here. This is a big opportunity for me and I’m embracing it.”

Apprentices, from left, Tom Dubej, Oliver Walkington, Charlie Hutty, Corben Spencer and Olly Kneeshaw, with Spencer Group Managing Director Gary Thornton.


Oliver, from Bridlington, will complete a degree apprenticeship in Quantity Surveying over five years at Leeds Beckett University.

He said: “I’m learning about the financial side of the business, looking at prices and what we spend now, and where that will lead us in the future.

“I’ve always wanted to work with numbers and I’d like to become a fully qualified Quantity Surveyor in the future.

“Studying at Ron Dearing UTC was the best choice I could have made because of the links it has with employer partners and sponsors. I completed a work placement at Spencer Group when I was in Year 12, so I had the opportunity to experience the company before I applied to join the business.

“It’s going really well so far and I’m super excited to be here.”

Corben, from Hessle, will spend 15 months completing a Software Development Technician Level 3 qualification through QA Apprenticeships, the UK’s leading tech teaching provider.

He said: “Joining Spencer Group is great – everyone is really professional and approachable.

“Ron Dearing UTC allowed me to explore my options and Spencer Group looked at what we’ve learnt, so they can support us to build on that knowledge.”

The new Spencer Group apprentices are excited about the opportunity.


Gary Thornton, Managing Director at Spencer Group, said last year’s apprentices have played a key role in helping to shape and improve the programme for this year’s intake. They will help to mentor the new apprentices on their journey and this process will continue for years to come.

Gary said: “It’s great to be able to build on last year’s intake of apprentices from Ron Dearing UTC. We’ve seen them grow and develop and the new intake gives them somebody to mentor as they’re moving through.

“In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and at a time when employment is very tough to secure, it’s a great privilege to be part of a business that can give these young people this opportunity and put them on the first step to success.

“Preparing people for work is one of the great successes we have seen at Ron Dearing UTC. The partner organisations have embedded themselves into the development of the curriculum, offered students a week’s engagement in the business and enabled them to learn things about interview techniques from an employer’s perspective.

“They get a really good grasp of what life after education looks like and that stands them in good stead for employment opportunities in the future. They quickly settle in and are very adaptable.”

Spencer Group delivers innovative engineering solutions in the energy, transport, infrastructure, materials handling and industrial sectors, from initial design concepts through to construction, and specialises in logistically-complex and business-critical schemes.