Shares in Success

September 2021

Encirc has helped to set a man’s life on a positive new path, after losing his job due to COVID.

Antonio Castillo, aged 21, a first-generation Italian based in Norfolk, was one of the tens of thousands of people in the hospitality sector to lose his job and income during the pandemic.

Keen to rebuild his career, Antonio asked Norfolk-based company Inspired Renewables to put him through an apprenticeship.

Inspired Renewables is a company that helps domestic and commercial properties reduce their energy consumption by offering sustainable solutions, saving money at the same time. The company was keen to help Antonio but did not have the sufficient funds to do so.

In February 2021, Co-op launched a Levy Share initiative to support apprenticeships for individuals from under-represented groups. The Levy Share allows larger businesses to support SMEs by sharing portions of their levy fund that would otherwise expire before use, thus going to waste.

Encirc connected with Judith Glanville, director of Inspired Renewables, and, through the Co-op scheme, were able to share some of their under-utilised funds to secure a space for Antonio on a Level 3 Installation Electrical & Maintenance Electrician apprenticeship over the next three and a half years.

Judith commented, “We are pleased to be involved with Encirc, a generous, ethical company who share our values and ambitions for a greener and more sustainable planet. Taking on a young person as an apprentice is a big undertaking for a small company and a large investment in both time and capital. By being associated with Encirc we have access to their apprentice levy and are very grateful. We’re very honoured to have been selected.”

With the Co-op’s goal of closing the ‘opportunity gap’ in apprenticeships for individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds by 2023, as well as addressing underrepresentation in other areas, Encirc is looking forward to helping more SMEs in the future. Director of Sustainability, Fiacre O Donnell shared, “We have a real desire to support sustainability, regardless of where it is.”

The team at Inspired Renewables have found the Levy Share scheme at just the right time. Judith said, “The renewables industry is going through explosive growth, from energy generation to renewable heating. We have to train the future engineers, and everybody deserves a chance in life if they work hard. We’re very pleased to be able to support Antonio on his new and exciting career path!”

For more information about Encirc, visit

Related Articles

Blog March 2024

Becoming a woman in manufacturing….accidentally!

Read Article
Blog December 2023

Looking back to go forward – Encirc’s intermodal future

Read Article