NATIONAL commercial painting and decorating contractor Bagnalls commitment to employing apprentices has put it ahead of national targets.

The Shipley-based family business, which marked its 140th anniversary last year, has joined The 5 per cent Club – which focuses on creating momentum behind the recruitment of apprentices and graduates..

Currently 49. or seven per cent ,of Bagnalls’ 600-strong workforce are employed on a formal apprentice, sponsored student and/or graduate programme.

Bagnalls, named Family Business United’s 2016 business of the year, achieved 11 per cent growth in 2015 taking turnover to £43.4 million and is committed to skills development and creating opportunities for young people as a key part of its strategy.

Stephen Bagnall, managing director, said: “Our addition to The 5 per cent Club also demonstrates our ongoing desire to support the future generation and invest in the development of our business, as we have done since engaging our first apprentices in the late 19th Century.

“It is a brilliant industry initiative and one we are delighted to be a part of. Apprenticeships not only benefit our younger generations but they are of real importance to the future of businesses, such as ours.

“By employing apprentices we find that our productivity and efficiency levels are boosted which makes a real difference to our bottom line.

“Many of our senior management team has come through our management trainee programme, so we know this approach to training and development works.”

Bagnalls recently appointed international accountancy group Mazars following its business growth.