Trends & Insights


March 26, 2024

Leading Gloucestershire employer, aerospace firm Ontic, who employ 650 people across Cheltenham and Gloucester, are partnering with Young Gloucestershire to launch the Ontic Care Leavers bursary to support young people previously in care to become apprentices.

The scheme will ringfence three Engineering Technician Apprenticeships (at level 3 or 4) in 2024, specifically for people who have previously been in, or are leaving, social care.

To help fund the program, Ontic has received grant funding from their partners, CVC(1). CVC run a philanthropy programme called ‘Planet & People’ which provides grants for projects that help companies within the CVC portfolio create positive impacts for their employees or communities.

Diane Paul, Head of Recruitment for Ontic explains why Ontic are offering the scheme: “It’s recognized that young people who have been in care face additional barriers in gaining apprenticeships, despite some additional support already available from the government(2).

“Ontic already pays its apprentices a competitive salary, which increases annually, however, apprenticeship training salaries are not always enough to support independent living. With care leavers’ unique circumstances, this often closes the opportunity of apprenticeships to them, so we wanted to rectify that. By providing a targeted bursary, all workwear and a laptop for all apprentices, we aim to remove financial barriers and increase access to apprenticeship opportunities, supporting social mobility within our local community. “

Speaking about the wider apprenticeship programme, Diane continued: “We are keen to provide young people with additional life skills that support their transition from education into work, helping them mature as individuals as well as employees. All our apprentices participate in the ’Ontic Life Essentials Project’ which is comprised of seminars and workshops on a range of topics, including age-appropriate financial planning, money management, life event planning, support with cooking and eating on a budget, and lessons in basic home maintenance. All designed to equip our apprentices to start to live independently.”

Judy Marsden, Global Head of Philanthropy at CVC added, “We’re delighted to support Ontic with this important project. When we heard about the brilliant work they’re already doing to support their apprentices with the Life Essentials Project, we were keen to get involved and support their newest initiative. For care leavers who will usually lack the support of a family to fall back on, starting an apprenticeship and moving into the world of work can be intimidating, so we were keen to do what we could to support in this area.”

Young Gloucestershire (3), who are involved with young people locally, will actively signpost and promote the opportunity to eligible young people.


  1. CVC a leading global private markets manager focused on private equity, secondaries, credit and infrastructure with a global network of 29 local offices and €186 billion of assets under management. In 2022, CVC widened the reach its EcoGrant programme, to include social and community projects and the EcoGrants became Planet & People Grants. Companies can now apply for grant funding for projects that help them reach both their environmental goals and create positive impacts for their employees or communities. The programme is a joint initiative between CVC’s Philanthropy and ESG teams.
  2. In England, the introduction of Staying Put. If the young person is not able to stay with their foster family or are already in care, they move to adult care services on their 18th birthday. As a care leaver aged between 16-24, the government also provides a bursary of £3,000 payable to the apprentice during the first year of their apprenticeship.
  3. Young Gloucestershire is a countywide charity that supports young people who are facing challenges in their lives. YG believes in helping young people to address all the influencing factors in their lives. We work together with young people to help them figure out what it is they want, what’s holding them back and how they can move forward.