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News Release

  • The 5% Club welcomes Edwardian Hotels London as its 200th member

    10 March 2017

    Edwardian Hotels London has joined The 5% Club, the employer-led movement focussed on driving momentum into the recruitment of apprentices and graduates. The UK based, privately owned hospitality group brings The Club’s membership to 200. This was celebrated at their flagship hotel, The May Fair Hotel, in central London with their current apprentices.

    The hotel group are committed to providing Hospitality Skills training to graduates interested in joining the hospitality industry. Each year the business inducts a minimum of 30 Bachelors graduates to their exciting 18-month programme, where they gain experience across areas of the business including Front Office, Kitchen, Food and Beverage and Housekeeping. This programme has proven very successful in developing future leaders, and as a result Edwardian Hotels London was 10th on the Guardian UK 300: top hospitality, leisure and tourism employers list.

    In addition, in late 2015 Edwardian Hotels London became the first hospitality group to collaborate with Imperial College Business School. They pledged a 10-year alliance to create a bespoke development programme which intends to train over 250 of our leaders and managers.

    Edwardian Hotels London are also developing an apprentice program for chefs, launching in September 2017. With a growing shortage of skilled chefs joining the industry, this will ensure the highest level of talent are supported in the business’s growing Food and Beverage Excellence Team.

    Davinder Gujral, Group HR Director, Edwardian Hotels London, said:

    “Employers have a responsibility to invest in skills. By joining The 5% Club we are demonstrating our commitment to developing our staff and young people and joining a community of employers who share our commitment to tackling the skills gap through sustainable investment in skills for the future. For the UK to remain competitive globally, we must develop our domestic workforce to deliver economic growth in our country.”

    The 5% Club was launched 3 years ago to drive cross-industry action to tackle the national skills shortage and reduce youth unemployment. Members pledge to strive to achieve a minimum of 5% of their employees in ‘earn and learn’ positions – apprentices, sponsored students and graduate trainees - within 5 years of joining.

    Inderneel Singh, Managing Director, The May Fair Hotel, said:

    “This is an exciting collaboration for us. We take our recruitment opportunities extremely seriously and graduates and apprentices are a crucial group of people that we want to attract. Edwardian Hotels London is proud to be a business that retains the best talent. As we grow, we want our people to grow with us. We are fortunate to be an independent, family-run hospitality group who has the freedom to develop ideas and concepts from all employees, from all areas of the business. New generations of talent will drive forward our business and we are excited to provide training and experience to propel this.”

    Penny Cobham, Director General of The 5% Club, said:

    “I’m delighted to welcome Edwardian Hotels London to The 5% Club as our 200th member. With every additional employer who signs The 5% Club charter, we take another step forward in making lifetime skills – and a strong economy – a reality for our young people and help build the British workforce of the future.”

    The 5% Club Members vary from FTSE 100 listed-companies to SMEs and operate across a range of different industries.

    Notes to editors:

    The 5% Club

    The 5% Club works with UK employers and key influencers to inspire, educate and retain a growing body of people into “earn and learn” placements in order to increase the number of apprentices, sponsored students and graduates.

    The goal of The 5% Club is to increase the employment and career prospects of today’s youth and equip the UK with the skilled workforce it needs to safeguard Britain’s economy.

    The 5% Club was launched in 2013.

    Members sign The 5% Club charter. As a member of The 5% Club employers state they are:

    • Committed to helping the UK’s growth agenda and acknowledge the importance of developing people as both a business and social imperative

    • Playing their part in addressing youth unemployment and skills shortage

    • Pledging to work towards having a minimum 5% of their UK workforce enrolled on formalised apprentice, sponsored student and/or graduate development schemes within five years

    • Measuring and reporting on their progress annually against the above metric in their Corporate Social Responsibility section of the Annual Report and Accounts or equivalent document

    • Committed to encouraging other employers to participate in the campaign.

    Edwardian Hotels London

    Edwardian Hotels London is a privately-owned hotel group, which has been operating and developing an upscale and luxury hotel and hospitality portfolio since Jasminder Singh OBE began his career within the hospitality industry in 1977; forming the beginnings of what would become Edwardian Hotels London. Today, Edwardian Hotels London owns and operates 11 Radisson Blu Edwardian, London hotels in London and central Manchester, The May Fair Hotel and a collection of restaurant and bar brands, including the May Fair Kitchen, Monmouth Kitchen and May Fair Bar. EHL are also engaged in a major development in Leicester Square, incorporating a luxury lifestyle hotel, restaurants, bars, spa and cinemas.

    Edwardian Hotels London has been awarded Superbrand status in 2017. Due to the brand’s entrepreneurial spirit and ‘Yes I Can’ Service philosophy, they join the list of the UK’s strongest consumer and business brands.

    For more information visit our website at www.edwardian.com.

    The May Fair Hotel, London

    The luxury May Fair Hotel is in the heart of London’s most stylish district. The hotel, which was opened by King George V in 1927, boasts more than 400 luxury bedrooms, including 40 suites; set alongside the relaxing May Fair Spa; the chic, Mediterranean tapas restaurant, May Fair Kitchen; a 201-seat private screening room, The May Fair Theatre and the exclusive Palm Beach Casino. The residence encapsulates its Mayfair locality throughout, with the intimate Terrace and Private Dining Room; The May Fair Bar offering an array of signature cocktails; the breathtaking Crystal Room; and the decadent Danziger Suite.

  • 89% of UK businesses say that Brexit won’t impact on their hiring plans

    6 March 2017

    • Nearly 200 UK-based employers were surveyed by The 5% Club

    • 89% of respondents said Brexit would not impact on the number of apprentices they take on

    • The lack of information on apprenticeships in schools cited as main barrier to greater uptake of apprenticeships

    According to a new survey of 200 UK employers, 89% of the respondents said that Brexit would not have an impact on their hiring policy – highlighting the increasing confidence that UK businesses will be able to negate any potential labour shortages created by Brexit.

    The results of the survey show that while there remains uncertainty about access to the EU labour market following Brexit, employers are confident that apprenticeships can help bridge the gap should the UK lose access to skilled workers.

    In fact, the more pressing hiring concerns employers revolved around the availability of information on apprenticeships in schools, with three-quarters (76%) of respondents citing this as the main barrier to young people taking up an apprenticeships. Nine out of ten (90%) respondents believe that improving the quality of information offered by school’s career services could help to change the image of apprenticeships at a national level.

    Dispelling the myth around apprenticeships being a lesser option to higher education also featured highly in respondents concerns. The emphasis on pursing higher education was viewed as the second greatest barrier to the uptake of apprenticeships and 87% of the employers surveyed who felt that more should be done at a government policy level to promote apprenticeships as a viable alternative alongside higher education routes.

    The survey was carried out by The 5% Club, the employer-led movement focussed on driving momentum into the recruitment of apprentices and graduates, on around 200 of its members, who vary from FTSE 100 listed-companies to SMEs and who operate across a range of different industries.

    A copy of the survey can be downloaded here.

    Members who sign The 5% Club Charter strive to ensuring 5% of their workforce consists of apprentices, graduates on formal programmes and sponsored students within 5 years of signing up to the initiative.

    The 5% Club was launched three years ago by Leo Quinn, Chief Executive of Balfour Beatty, to drive cross-industry action to tackle the national skills shortage and reduce youth unemployment. It recently appointed former Chairman of VisitEngland, Lady Cobham, as the inaugural Director General for the organisation, as it looks to expand its membership to over 200 companies.

    Commenting on the survey results, Lady Cobham, Director General of The 5% Club said: “It is positive to see employers reaffirm their commitment to apprenticeships despite the uncertainties presented by Brexit.

    “Importantly, our members recognise that a more pressing need is around dispelling the myth that apprenticeships and ‘earn and learn’ placements are reserved for young people with less intelligence and that higher education is the only route to success. Indeed many young people choose pathways which move between vocational and higher education.”

    “The 5% Club are passionate champions of vocational training and we hope that many more employers will sign up to our pledge to tackle skills shortages across different sectors and industries. With more and more members joining the initiative, we are getting closer to realising our dream of training the UK’s workforce of tomorrow.”

    For more information contact:
    Hamish Hardie
    Portland Communications
    T: 0207 554 1835 / 07563 578 711
    E: hamish.hardie@portland-communications.com

    Notes to editors:

    The 5% Club works with UK employers and key influencers to inspire, educate and retain a growing body of people into “earn and learn” placements in order to increase the number of apprentices, sponsored students and graduates.

    The goal of The 5% Club is to increase the employment and career prospects of today’s youth and equip the UK with the skilled workforce it needs to safeguard Britain’s economy.

    The 5% Club was launched in 2013.

    Members sign The 5% Club charter. As a member of The 5% Club employers state they are:

    • Committed to helping the UK’s growth agenda and acknowledge the importance of developing people as both a business and social imperative

    • Playing their part in addressing youth unemployment and skills shortage

    • Pledging to work towards having a minimum 5% of their UK workforce enrolled on formalised apprentice, sponsored student and/or graduate development schemes within five years

    • Measuring and reporting on their progress annually against the above metric in their Corporate Social Responsibility section of the Annual Report and Accounts or equivalent document

    • Committed to encouraging other employers to participate in the campaign.

    The Steering Board for The 5% Club is formed of the Chairman, Leo Quinn, Group Chief Executive, Balfour Beatty; Allan Cook, Chairman, Atkins; Steve Wadey, CEO, QinetiQ; David Armstrong, UK MD, MBDA.

    Membership is free, however going forward the running costs of The 5% Club will be funded by donations from members.

  • Lady Cobham Appointed Director General of the 5% Club

    5 February 2017

    • Lady Cobham CBE appointed first Director General

    • Brunel University London and ComRes move membership towards 200

    • High level Steering Board created

    • Founder, Leo Quinn, to make substantial donation and underwrite up to £100,000 running costs

    The 5% Club, the employer-led movement which champions investment in the next generation through workplace training, announces the appointment of Penny Cobham as its first Director General.

    Lady Cobham has been Chairman of VisitEngland (the national tourist board) and its Advisory Board (2009-2017) and serves on the boards of Linley and Pagefield Communications. She has been a consultant to Ernst and Young, Citi Private Bank and Farrer & Co. and chaired the British Casino Association (1999-2009). In the public arena, inter alia, she has served on the boards of the London Docklands Development Corporation, the V&A and British Waterways and currently sits on the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

    The 5% Club was launched 3 years ago to drive cross-industry action to tackle the national skills shortage and reduce youth unemployment. Members commit to a minimum of 5% of their employees in ‘earn and learn’ positions – apprentices, sponsored students and graduate trainees - within 5 years of joining. Growth in members has been rapid, spanning all industries and sizes, from FTSE to SME, and including Government bodies.

    The 5% Club’s membership represents a broad range of employers – with ComRes, the research consultancy, and Brunel University London (the first academic body to sign up) the latest employers to join.

    With its agenda now achieving critical traction in public and business policy, The 5% Club has recently become incorporated, creating both a central office to support members and co-ordinate activities and a Steering Board to provide leadership and strategic oversight.

    Finance for The 5% Club’s on-going work has been secured by a £40,000 personal donation from Leo Quinn, equivalent to 5% of his salary. He has committed to underwrite up to £100,000 of costs while wider fund-raising gets underway. In addition, The 5% Club is receiving pro-bono services from several organisations, including members QinetiQ Group plc, Balfour Beatty plc, Pinsent Masons and KPMG, and from Portland Communications and Medena Communications.

    Commenting on today’s announcement, Leo Quinn, Founder of The 5% Club said:

    “Every young person deserves the chance to learn skills and build a strong career. If Britain is to succeed as a world trade power, business leaders and employers from across all industries must meet that challenge head on with sustained, concerted effort.

    “That is why The 5% Club, which today welcomes Brunel University London and ComRes, is increasing its resources with a Steering Board and permanent office. We are delighted that Penny Cobham will be joining us in the new role of Director General.

    “With every additional employer who signs The 5% Club charter, we take another step forward in making lifetime skills – and a strong economy – a reality for our young people and help build the British workforce of the future.”

    Penny Cobham, Director General of The 5% Club said:

    “The 5% Club has a major role to play in ’earn and learn’ solutions for youth employment and skills training. We need to continue to promote this agenda, both with employers to create the positions and with the young to see them as a practical route into the world of work. The 5% Club offers a tremendous opportunity to meet the skills challenge, spanning as it does all sectors and sizes of organisation in every region of the country. My goal is to continue to grow membership and share best practice, from those members with an established training programme to those members looking to grow their business by taking on their very first apprentice.”

    Julia Buckingham, Vice Chancellor of Brunel University London, said:

    “Brunel has a well-established tradition of recruiting and developing students from underprivileged backgrounds and of working with businesses to integrate work-based learning in our degree programmes. By joining The 5% Club we are reinforcing our commitment and offering to share our experiences to help other members to unlock the potential that so many young people in the UK have to offer.”

    For more information contact:
    Hamish Hardie
    Portland Communications
    T: 0207 554 1835
    E: hamish.hardie@portland-communications.com

    Notes to editors:

    The 5% Club works with UK employers and key influencers to inspire, educate and retain a growing body of people into “earn and learn” placements in order to increase the number of apprentices, sponsored students and graduates.

    The goal of The 5% Club is to increase the employment and career prospects of today’s youth and equip the UK with the skilled workforce it needs to safeguard Britain’s economy.

    The 5% Club was launched in 2013.

    Members sign The 5% Club charter. As a member of The 5% Club employers state they are:

    • Committed to helping the UK’s growth agenda and acknowledge the importance of developing people as both a business and social imperative

    • Playing their part in addressing youth unemployment and skills shortage

    • Pledging to work towards having a minimum 5% of their UK workforce enrolled on formalised apprentice, sponsored student and/or graduate development schemes within five years

    • Measuring and reporting on their progress annually against the above metric in their Corporate Social Responsibility section of the Annual Report and Accounts or equivalent document

    • Committed to encouraging other employers to participate in the campaign.

    The Steering Board for The 5% Club is formed of the Chairman, Leo Quinn, Group Chief Executive, Balfour Beatty; Allan Cook, Chairman, Atkins; Steve Wadey, CEO, QinetiQ; David Armstrong, UK MD, MBDA.

    Membership is free, however going forward the running costs of The 5% Club will be funded by donations from members.

  • The 5% Club members meeting

    20 January 2017

    The first members meeting of 2017 was kindly hosted by international legal practice, Osborne Clarke at their offices in central London.

    Zoe Reid, Senior Recruitment and Development Officer, shared Osborne Clarke’s experience of graduate recruitment, including key challenges such as increasing diversity of graduates and attracting STEM students to the legal profession.

    Sam Healy, Programme Director of The 5% Club, provided an update for members on key initiatives, including The Brathay Apprentice Challenge and reported back on the results of the recent survey of members. Members found the survey results a useful resource and were supportive of similar activity in future. The survey results will be published shortly.

    A lively discussion followed around how to reach out to young people and make them aware of alternative career paths to traditional academic routes. A wealth of good practice was shared around working with schools, careers advisors and parents, as well as the potential for social media to influence potential new recruits.

    Companies wishing to sign up to The 5% Club or which simply would like more information can email contactus@5percentclub.org.uk.