Email Us for further details of The 5% Club

News Release

  • Dale Power Solutions wins at the Regional National Apprenticeship Service Awards 2017

    12 October 2017

    It was win, win, win for Dale Power Solutions at the regional heats of the National Apprenticeship Awards on 10th October. Not only did Dale take the award for Large Employer but apprentices Hannah Magowan won Advanced Apprentice category and Mickyle Clark was awarded Higher/Degree Apprentice. Having now won at regional level all three will be entered into the nationwide competition to compete with the country’s elite. Finalists will be announced in November and the winners in January 2018.

    Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service, said: “The National Apprenticeship Awards allow talented apprentices and committed employers from across our regions to receive well-deserved recognition for their apprenticeship achievements.

    “Winners recognised at these awards show the range of sectors and variety of job roles apprenticeships are available in, and how they can deliver the skills employers need. I congratulate all winners on their success so far and the very best of luck in the next stage of the competition.”

    The Awards, now in their fourteenth year, are run by the National Apprenticeship Service and recognise excellence in two areas: businesses that grow their own talent with apprentices and apprentices who have made a significant contribution to their workplaces.

    On being announced as Large Employer winner, Mark Carter Business Support Manager at Dale Power Solutions said: “Being a company with under 300 employees makes us relatively small for the Large Employer category which is open to organisations with up to 4,999 employees, so we were thrilled to win this award in the Yorkshire and Humber region. One third of our apprentices are female and having two of our apprentices, Mickyle Clark and Hannah Magowan awarded with Higher/Degree Apprentice and Advanced Apprentice in the regional finals is the icing on the cake. Hannah has been with us for two years and Mickyle just over three years. Both women are real assets to the business and the recognition is well deserved.”

    Dale chief executive officer Tim Wilkins added: “As a recognised Cornerstone Employer our grass-roots strategy to solve a skills shortage in the industry is in its tenth year and we are proud to have apprentices at all levels working within the business. Our Ambassador programme is thriving and our apprentices will continue to work with schools and colleges to combat the wider issue of social mobility in our area.”

    Dale Power Solutions is no stranger to the NAS Awards having won Highly Commended Employer in 2012, Regional Apprentice (Natasha Pitts) in 2013, 2014, 2016 and Regional Medium Employer in 2014.

    To find out more about the benefits of apprenticeships, search on GOV.UK or to find out more on the apprenticeship awards visit https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/national-apprenticeship-awards-2017 Alternatively call 08000 150 600 or follow @apprenticeships on Twitter or National Apprenticeship Service on LinkedIn.

    Notes to editors:

    Dale Power Solutions
    https://www.dalepowersolutions.com
    Dale Power Solutions provides critical power to organisations where power outages is not acceptable, for example hospitals, airports, oil platforms, data centres. The head office is based in Scarborough, North Yorkshire with satellite offices in Hemel Hempstead and Dubai. Dale Power Solutions employs over 270 people and has a turnover of £32m.

    The National Apprenticeship Awards
    Now in their 14th year, the National Apprenticeship Awards are an opportunity to highlight the many success stories and the benefits of apprenticeships. There are six employer categories ranging from Small to Macro, and two newcomer categories. Categories are open to employers of all sectors. For the fifth year running the very best employer category entries will have the additional bonus of featuring in the prestigious annual Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list. There are four apprentice categories, which are: intermediate, advanced and higher or degree apprentice of the year, and the hotly contended Apprenticeship Champion of the Year.

    The National Apprenticeship Service
    The National Apprenticeship Service supports the delivery of apprenticeships in England. It offers free impartial advice and support to employers looking to recruit for the first time or expand their apprenticeship workforce. This includes simplifying the process of recruiting an apprentice through the support of employer focused teams and Find an apprenticeship recruitment sites on GOV.UK where employers can advertise their vacancies and potential apprentices or trainees can apply. Call 08000 150 600 or search for apprenticeships on www.gov.uk to find out more.

  • Bridges and Ladders: social mobility and a skilled workforce

    5 October 2017

    Featuring a forward by Nick Clegg, The 5% Club’s latest thought leadership report identifies how improving the transition from school to work for all young people, but particularly for those who do not go on to study A Levels and Higher Education, can improve social mobility and provide the skilled workforce the UK will need now and in the future.

    The UK has been hugely successful in tackling unemployment in recent years. The jobless rate is at its lowest level since 1975 and the employment rate has never been higher. But the UK is facing a national skills shortages in key industries, while youth unemployment (including graduates) stands close to 13%[1].

    At the same time, according to the Social Mobility Commission, social mobility in the UK is getting worse for a generation of young people. Young people from low-income homes are a third more likely to drop out of education at 16 and 30% less likely to study A-levels that could get them into a top university[2]. They often do not know what options are available to them and can end up in low-skilled, low-paid jobs, jobs which are disappearing due to increasing automation and digitization.

    Evidence from other countries demonstrates that a high-quality vocational-education system can be a powerful driver of social mobility by acting as a mechanism helping students from less advantaged backgrounds access higher education for the first time.

    Our latest report highlights that more must be done to improve social mobility and outlines 12 recommendations we see as key to making the progress and change required.

    We must reach parity of esteem between academic and vocational and technical routes: no one should be prevented from achieving their full potential because of the route they took to qualification. ‘Earn and learn’ must be seen as an option equal to academic routes.

    The 5% Club, a movement of more than 250 businesses committed to embedding the ethos of ‘earn and learn’ into their organisations, firmly believes that where you are from should not dictate where you are going. By offering a wide range of ‘earn and learn’ opportunities our members create meaningful career paths for thousands of young people every year and create a workforce with the skills the UK economy will need to thrive.

    To read the paper in full, click here.

    [1] House of Commons Briefing Paper Number 5871, Youth Unemployment Statistics, June 2017, based on ONS Labour Market Statistics bulletins
    [2] The Social Mobility Commission, State of the Nation 2016 report, November 2016

  • New Report: Insufficient careers advice puts £90BN GDP at Risk

    1 September 2017

    Against a backdrop of declining GCSE results, a new report shows that parents have significant concerns about the quality of careers advice on offer to secondary school pupils.

    With 74% of those surveyed feeling careers advice is too focused on academic pathways, and 68% of parents feeling that children don’t receive enough advice, the report, commissioned by FTSE 250 construction and services giant Kier, points to a need for business and government to do more to improve out of date advice.

    Specifically, for the construction/built environment sector, this is about averting a £90bn UK GDP crisis. The industry is battling with a fundamental image problem with pupils and parents not appreciating the breadth of career opportunities on offer in the sector, against a backdrop of needing to take on 400,000 new recruits per annum to keep pace with the UK’s growing housing and infrastructure demand.

    As part of the report, a study of 2,000 secondary school teachers, parents and careers advisors was undertaken to assess perceptions of careers advice and career options for school leavers, and specifically to gauge their understanding of construction/the built environment.

    The study found that 90% of teachers are unaware of the scale of the recruitment shortfall in the construction sector, with 41% not realising that there is an issue at all.

    It also found that 54% of teachers and parents still believe that there is a lack of career progression in the built environment, and they still associate the industry with being ‘muddy’, ‘manual’, ‘male dominated’ and ‘lower paid’ thanks to outdated perceptions and advice.

    This is despite the fact that the industry provides a wealth of opportunity across all skillsets; at Kier alone, there are 2,000 different job roles across local, regional and national projects, and many different career entry and progression points from work experience, internships and apprenticeships to undergraduate and graduate programmes. As the new Kier careers advice website (www.shapingyourworld.co.uk) shows, there are a wide range of opportunities on offer in the industry, being tackled by a diverse workforce.

    In part, lack of knowledge is being compounded by a lack of detailed careers advice. The report found that three quarters of pupils (65%) aged 11-13 year olds get no official advice and only a quarter of 13-15 year olds (27%) receive ‘one hour, once’ of careers advice. This only improves for 15-16 year olds when 95% then receive one hour of advice or more.

    The report also found that 57% of parents say rising tuition fees put them off encouraging university as an option for their children, yet 81% of parents were unaware that FTSE-listed companies like Kier can pay for the cost of a degree course and offer a guaranteed entry point into work upon completion of studies.

    Given that the public sector faces continued budgetary pressures, schools and councils cannot provide timely, comprehensive and persuasive careers advice without support. With the backing of the Institute of Directors (IoD) and the Careers & Enterprise Company, Kier is pledging 1% of its workforce as career ambassadors to work with schools and colleges over the next 12 months to engage with at least 10,000 school pupils and inform and inspire the next generation.

    In balance, Kier would welcome the Government, using its upcoming Careers Strategy (due to be published shortly), to take further steps to improve careers advice, and to increase opportunities for collaboration between the public and private sector, following on from the success of the Careers & Enterprise Company, which brokers this kind of collaboration. Specific policy asks include:

    • Support the role of the Careers & Enterprise Company to ensure young people have access to four or more encounters with the workplace in all schools and colleges across England;

    • Mandate that every school gives children a minimum of three, one hour careers advice sessions – the first session with a school advisor, and follow up sessions with ambassadors from relevant industries;

    • Ensure that the frameworks and resources are in place to support schools and colleges to meet all of the eight benchmarks identified by the Gatsby Foundation for best practice in careers advice; and

    • Mandate that the careers advice process begins as early as possible in a young person’s life to enable them to make informed choices about their subject/course selection.

    Haydn Mursell, chief executive, Kier, said: “With an ageing workforce, uncertainty around Brexit and an ambitious pipeline of construction, housing and wider infrastructure projects, which equates to £90bn of UK GDP delivery and creates a demand for circa 400,000 new recruits per annum, it is imperative that we attract new talent into our industry.

    “We have invested in comprehensive resource to train and develop new talent, we offer a vast array of roles, great scope and support for diversity and career progression, and we offer the chance to leave a lasting legacy and make a real contribution to local communities, as well as UK GDP. But we also have an image crisis, based on out of date perceptions and advice. We cannot leave this to schools, councils or the government alone to resolve. Business is best placed to explain itself, its employment offering and its skills and training needs.

    “For this reason, we are pledging a minimum of 1% of our workforce as career ambassadors to work with schools and colleges across the UK, to engage with at least 10,000 pupils over the next 12 months.

    “If every company in the FTSE 250 and FTSE 100 followed the 1% pledge as part of their commitment to employment and skills, we could create a powerful network of real world advisors, to inform and inspire the next generation.”

    Claudia Harris, Chief Executive Officer of the Careers & Enterprise Company, said: ‘The Careers & Enterprise Company are delighted to support Kier in their goal to engage with at least 10,000 young people over the next 12 months. Research from Education and Employers shows that young people who have 4 or more workplace encounters while at school are 86% less likely to be ‘Not in Education Employment or Training’ (NEET) and on average will go on to earn 18% more than their peers who did not. We will support Kier and its employees to engage with our national network of over 1,700 schools and colleges to deliver a variety of activities that can support young people and help to bring the many fantastic opportunities in the construction industry to life.’

    Seamus Nevin, Head of Employment and Skills Policy at the Institute of Directors, said: “We are in a period of significant change in the labour market and we need to produce more home-grown talent with the right skills. Given the nature of the challenge, this will be a collective effort. To that end, it is great to see the forward looking work of business like Kier, reaching out to young people and making positive contributions to filling the UK’s skills gaps.”

    The report ‘Averting a £90bn GDP crisis’ is available from the Kier website: www.kier.co.uk/researchreport

  • Royal recognition for Clarkson Evans after the electrical contractor is deemed to put its employees first

    15 August 2017

    Clarkson Evans is being commended by Princess Anne for its commitment to training and skills development.

    The Gloucestershire-based electrical contractor is among 40 organisations to be awarded the prestigious Princess Royal Training Award, the City & Guilds Group has announced today (Tuesday 15th August).

    The list of awardees includes public and private sector businesses of all sizes, from areas including hospitality, healthcare, finance and manufacturing. Clarkson Evans is the only company based in Gloucestershire and the only business operating in the new homes sector to have achieved this accolade.

    The exceptional businesses will be honoured by HRH The Princess Royal for creating lasting impact by successfully linking their skills development needs to business performance. They will receive their awards in a ceremony due to take place this autumn.

    The Princess Royal Training Awards were delivered for the first time last year by the City & Guilds Group. Each application was assessed against three Hallmarks of Excellence by the Princess Royal Training Awards Commission, which comprised of HRH The Princess Royal and seven leading figures in the business and training community.

    Commenting on this year’s recipients, Chris Jones, Chief Executive of the City & Guilds Group said: ‘From household brands to leading charities, employers of all sizes across the UK are seeing real and tangible benefits of training and developing their people. The Princess Royal Training Awards provide both recognition and the opportunity to share best practice and its impact. I congratulate the 40 successful organisations who presented their evidence and achieved the standard required by the Award in 2017. They are worthy recipients of this prestigious and rigorous royal award and we are delighted to be able to deliver it through the City & Guilds Group.’

    Lindsey Young, HR & Training Director at Clarkson Evans said: “The Princess Royal Training Award is yet another external endorsement of the quality of our staff training programme and we are thrilled to be among this year’s recipients.

    “The marketplace to attract high calibre apprentices to join our company is increasingly competitive as more and more young people turn their backs on university and consider an apprenticeship instead. Securing this award will help to strengthen our position as an employer of choice in the construction industry and help to build our brand nationally,” added Lindsey.

    For further information, please contact:

    Elaine Hodgin, Head of Sales & Marketing, Clarkson Evans Ltd on 01452 858985 or email elaineh@clarksonevans.co.uk

    About the Princess Royal Training Awards

    Now in its second year, the Princess Royal Training Awards honours employers in the UK who have created outstanding training and skills development programmes which have resulted in exceptional commercial benefits. The Princess Royal Training Awards recognise the achievement of a standard of excellence rather than selecting overall winners.

    The awards are supported by the City & Guilds Group President, HRH The Princess Royal, who is an active advocate for skills development.

    Applications were assessed against three Hallmarks of Excellence:

    1. Training and learning and development is integral to business performance
    2. The programme is delivered efficiently and effectively
    3. The programme has an impact on the success of the organisation and its people

    The successful organisations for 2017 can be found here.

    Clarkson Evans

    Clarkson Evans’ network of 17 regional branches stretches from Newquay to Crawley and Southampton to Stafford employing around 800 highly skilled members of staff.

    For 36 years, the company has worked alongside all the UK’s major house builders including Barratt, Bovis, Charles Church, David Wilson, Persimmon, Redrow and Taylor Wimpey, among others. In 2016, Clarkson Evans wired over 17,000 new homes, that’s more than one in 10 of all new homes built across England and Wales.

  • Membership of The 5% Club is flying high but well on track too

    25 July 2017

    Heathrow and Network Rail have demonstrated their strong commitment to workplace training by joining The 5% Club, the employer-led movement which drives momentum behind the recruitment of apprentices and graduates into the workforce.

    Founded in 2013, The 5% Club has well over two hundred members of all sizes, from every sector of the UK economy, who are determined to make a difference to the UK’s skills pool.

    Jenny Mercer, Heathrow Airport apprentice, with the Terminal Transfer System carriage she has been working on and Dave Rayner, Network Rail apprentice, pictured next to St Dunstan's level crossing in Canterbury.

    Signing The 5% Club’s charter means Heathrow and Network Rail will aspire to having 5% of their UK workforces on “earn and learn” roles such as apprenticeships and graduate training scheme schemes within five years.

    Membership also requires companies to report on their progress in their annual report.

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

    “An increasing number of businesses see The 5% Club as an opportunity to help inspire tomorrow’s talent. I’m pleased that Heathrow and Network Rail see membership as a means of signaling their commitment to training and development. I hope the diverse opportunities available at both companies will serve as inspiration for other employers.”

    Paula Stannett, Chief People Officer at Heathrow, said:

    “Apprentices have always been a critical part of our talent pipeline, bringing fresh ideas and innovative ways of working so the airport continues to run smoothly and our passengers receive great service. Since the Heathrow Employment & Skills Academy opened in 2004, more than 1,600 candidates have achieved apprenticeships at the airport, and thousands more have taken on employment training to nurture their careers. But we have much further to go: with Heathrow’s expansion plans, we will be able to provide thousands of new job opportunities and double the number of apprenticeships across the airport to 10,000 by 2030. Heathrow is delighted to join the 5% Club and its goal to bring businesses together to assure a vibrant and thriving workforce in the UK.”

    Guy Wilmshurst-Smith, Head of Professional Development and Training at Network Rail, said:

    “Network Rail is committed to providing opportunities for our people to develop and progress into a rewarding career on the railway. Our apprentice and graduate schemes educate and train the next generation so that they can help us to deliver our Railway Upgrade Plan and transform our railway to carry the ever-increasing number of people who choose to travel by rail safely, efficiently and comfortably.

    “Our people are an integral part of Network Rail’s plans to build a better railway for tomorrow; our pledge now is to increase the number of opportunities that we offer to both new and existing employees.”

  • Regional Family Business Winners
    North East & Yorkshire Apprentice Champion
    and North East & Yorkshire Big Heart

    20 July 2017

    During an evening of celebrating at Wembley stadium, the achievements of family businesses were acknowledged, at the National Family Business awards. The leading lights of British and Irish family businesses came together to bask in the success and importance that family businesses bring to the economy and people’s lives.

    Bagnalls were named Regional Winner: North East & Yorkshire for Apprentice Champion and also Regional Winner: North East & Yorkshire for Big Heart. Both very prestigious accolades that reflect the company’s positive commitment to developing apprentices and giving back to the community. A panel of twenty-four judges worked through hundreds of entries and two months of interviews until they made their final decisions.

    Pictured Left to Right:  Richard Britten, Carey Inman-Harrison, Paul Curry, Joanne Gualda, Andrew Harrison

    A spokesperson for the judging panel, for the Apprentice Champion award, said “It was evident that Bagnalls has been a long-standing supporter of apprenticeships and that developing young people is an important part of the company’s core values. We could see that the commitment to apprentices was driven by top level management, who believe in the benefits of a strong apprenticeship intake every year. Not only do Bagnalls give young people a headstart on the job ladder but many remain with the company for their whole career, progressing to foreman, supervisor, management and Director level positions. They truly deserve to be called Apprentice Champions!”

    Apprenticeships are just one way that the company gives back to the community, they also have a commitment to charitable support through the Bagnalls’ Community Paintbrush Scheme. This was also recognised on the evening when Bagnalls were named Regional North East and Yorkshire winner: Big Heart. Joanne Gualda, Group Marketing Director, said “This award acknowledges all the hard work and commitment given by my colleagues to local community projects and charities. In the past five years since our Community Paintbrush scheme was launched we have helped over sixty organisations, ranging from painting a children’s hospice in Liverpool to donating paint bound for a school in Malawi. Winning the regional Big Heart award is very special and we would like to thank all those who supported our nomination.”

    The evening, organised by Family Business Place, was attended by over three hundred and fifty family businesses, demonstrating the importance that this sector delivers to the UK and Irish economy.

    Notes to editors:

    Bagnalls is a national painting, decorating and specialist coatings contractor, with 13 branch locations in the UK. Established in 1875 the company remains family owned and managed.

    For further information please contact Joanne Gualda or Carey Inman-Harrison.

    Group Marketing
    Alfred Bagnall & Sons Limited
    6 Manor Lane
    Shipley
    West Yorkshire
    BD18 3RD

    Tel: (01274) 714800
    Fax: (01274) 530171

    Visit us on the web at www.bagnalls.co.uk

  • GSK Crowned Apprentice Team Of The Year

    03 July 2017

    Nine apprentices from GSK Ulverston have been named the apprentice team of the year, following a testing five-month Challenge that saw them compete against teams from the country’s leading apprentice employers and training providers.

    The GSK apprentices battled off tough competition from seven other National Finalist teams after proving their logistical, team building and communications skills. As part of the Challenge the team also delivered a community project, which involved creating a series of four short films about the dangers of asthma attacks. The films were made in memory of a little boy, Joshua West who had a fatal asthma attack. The team went on to show the films in schools and sports clubs.

    The Brathay Apprentice Challenge, the search for the apprentice team of the year is supported by the National Apprenticeship Service. In 2017, teams reached over 70,000 young people to raise awareness of the benefits of apprenticeships and recruited over 500 new employers interested in offering apprenticeships.

    GSK narrowly beat Nottingham City Homes into second place and JCB who finished third. Teams from Derwent Training Association, IBM, Redrow Homes, Severn Trent Water and WSP also competed in the National Finals.

    The total of eight National Finalists were selected from 75 teams and 650 apprentices who entered the Challenge. Since January, the teams have worked hard to spread the word about apprenticeships and have visited more than 555 schools, careers fairs and youth groups to encourage young people to consider an apprenticeship. The apprentice teams have also reached out to their local communities and delivered 44 community projects to benefit young people.

    Team member and engineering apprentice, Joseph Hambley said on winning the Challenge:
    “I am happy for me, happy for my team and happy for my employer. It is a great honour for all of us to have won the title apprentice team of the year and have our hard work recognized.”

    Phil Wilson, Site Director at GSK Ulverston, congratulated their apprentices and said:
    “What an amazing achievement. I am so very proud of the full team. We have watched them be stretched and grow throughout the Challenge.

    “The highlight was seeing them develop from being all about the Challenge and winning it to being about making a major contribution to the community in raising awareness of asthma and helping save lives. This is a great recognition of the Joshua West legacy.”

    Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service, said:
    “Congratulations to GSK on being crowned the 2017 apprentice team of the year and to all of the teams that have taken part in this year’s Challenge. Together they have shown the genuine difference an apprenticeship can make. The new skills and the new experiences these apprentices have gained in the Challenge will add to the opportunity apprenticeships provide to earn while you learn, as well as helping the employer grow and increase its productivity.

    “The hard work the teams have put into the Challenge has made real differences to their communities, the next generation of young people thinking about their careers and encouraged more employers to take on apprentices.

    “They are great ambassadors for apprenticeships.”

    Godfrey Owen, Chief Executive of Brathay Trust, said:
    “GSK are a great example of how offering an enhanced apprenticeship experience can benefit both apprentices and their organisations. All of the apprentices that have taken part this year have gained teambuilding, leadership, logistical and communication skills. It has been a pleasure to host the Brathay Apprentice Challenge and watch these apprentices develop into outstanding employees.”

    For more information on the Brathay Apprentice Challenge and to see a list of all teams entered visit brathay.com/challenge.

    Notes to editors:
    For more information or interviews, please contact:
    Sarah Colombini: sarah.colombini@campaigncollective.org / 077 3146 2451 Simon Francis: simon.francis@campaigncollective.org / 077 3848 7259

    The Brathay Apprentice Challenge
    The Brathay Apprentice Challenge (#BAC17) is the search for the apprentice team of the year, supported by the National Apprenticeship Service.

    To win the Brathay Apprentice Challenge, teams undertake a series of exciting and interactive work-related challenges to develop new skills and showcase their employer by engaging with young people and businesses to promote the benefits of apprenticeships.

    The challenges are designed to ensure that the teams demonstrate their team building, leadership, logistical and communications abilities.

    Teams of nine apprentices can be from a single employer, a group of small businesses, an industry, supply chain or training provider.

    With teams working together on the Brathay Apprentice Challenge, the apprentices and employers benefit from an enhanced apprenticeship experience.

    To find out more visit brathay.com/challenge.

    The National Apprenticeship Service
    The National Apprenticeship Service supports the delivery of apprenticeships and traineeships in England. It offers free impartial advice and support to employers looking to recruit for the first time or expand their programme. This includes simplifying the process of recruiting an apprentice or trainee through the support of employer focused teams and Find an apprenticeship and Find a traineeship recruitment sites on GOV.UK where employers can advertise their vacancies and potential apprentices or trainees can apply.

    Call 08000 150 600 or search for apprenticeships on GOV.UK to find out more.

    Brathay Trust
    Brathay has been a leader in experience-based learning since its inception as an educational trust in 1946.

    Brathay specialises in the design and delivery of bespoke people and organisation development programmes dedicated to the development of apprentices, graduates, teams, and emerging talent, as well as organisational development, engaging change, and leadership programmes.

    By creating learning experiences that relate to the workplace, participants are able to fully understand behaviours and their impact on individual and group performance. The focus is on exploring skills such as communication, leadership styles, teamwork, and logistical planning. Programmes are aligned with company values and tailored to specific roles within an organisation, using their language.

    Working nationally and internationally, Brathay’s qualified facilitators deliver programmes at company premises, appointed venues and at Brathay’s headquarters; a 360-acre estate on the shores of Windermere in the Lake District.

    Brathay’s extensive client portfolio includes a wide range of large and medium sized corporations, as well as numerous County Councils, government funded agencies, Fire & Rescue Services, universities, local governments, social enterprises and schools.

    By selecting Brathay as a provider, organisations demonstrate Corporate Social Responsibility. All profits generated through Brathay’s people and organisation development programmes are used to benefit Brathay Trust – an educational charity which is committed to the personal and social development of over 7,000 young people in the UK each year.

    For more information about the people and organisation development services of Brathay Trust contact

    Linda Stone, Business Development Manager
    linda.stone@brathay.com
    015394 39700
    www.brathay.com

  • Why the General Election and Brexit provide the perfect chance to reshape the UK’s skills agenda

    By Lady Penny Cobham, Director General of The 5% Club

    09 May 2017

    With campaigning for the 2017 UK General Election well and truly underway, attention will now focus on the different policy provisions due to be set out in the election manifestos. With the pollsters predicting a landslide victory for the Conservatives, we can reasonably expect that, notwithstanding any of the recent Brexit or Trump-esque surprises, Theresa May will likely retain her premiership and continue navigating Britain’s complicated exit from the European Union.

    While much of the media attention on the Tories’ campaign has been focussed on the inclusion of the much-vaunted energy price cap, as well as a commitment to the party’s perilous net migration target, one area of particular interest will be the Conservatives’ ongoing commitment to boosting the UK skills agenda.

    The signs from the current Government have so far been encouraging. While in office, Theresa May has rightfully presided over the promotion of the UK skills agenda to the mainstream political consciousness. She has correctly highlighted the link between long-standing skills shortages and UK growth and productivity, while carrying through the momentum created by the previous administration’s flagship Apprenticeship Levy.

    The inclusion of skills as one of the key ten pillars underpinning the industrial strategy, the launch of new public-private partnerships to boost the UK’s digital skills and the investment provision for vocational training in the Budget are but a few welcome signs the Government is taking the issue seriously.

    However, with the realities of Brexit casting doubt on the UK’s ongoing access to European labour markets, it is crucial that the Government practices what it preaches and equips the UK workforce with the necessary skills to fulfil May’s vision of Britain’s future as a great trading nation. There are still a number of barriers to provide the skilled workforce required for a post-Brexit Britain and with the UK Commission for Education and Skills predicting two million vacancies requiring higher level skills by 2022, there is sense of urgency in ensuring a successful transition to a more home grown workforce.

    It is now up to industry to work with the Government to deliver a strong economy and the skills the country needs for the future. In my role as Director General of The 5% Club, the employer-led movement which champions investment in the next generation through workplace training, I have been fortunate enough to see first-hand the positive attitude of UK business towards investment into the UK’s workforce of tomorrow. Our 200 members, who comprise of SMEs to FTSE 100s operating in a variety of different sectors, have all signed our charter pledging to aspire to have at least 5% of their UK workforce in ‘earn and learn’ positions within five years of joining.

    While this commitment from so many UK companies is clearly laudable, their opinions on what more can be done to improve vocational routes into work are particularly timely, perhaps surprising and most importantly, they deserve to be heard.

    One of the key arguments put forward by our members is the need to promote apprenticeships and vocational learning as a viable alternative to higher education as a route into work. A recent survey of our members found that employers are confident that apprenticeships can help bridge the gap should the UK lose access to skilled workers – with 89% of respondents saying Brexit would not impact on the number of apprentices they take on.

    In fact, those surveyed pointed to the better availability of information on apprenticeships in schools as the main barrier to young people taking on apprenticeships. Nine out of ten 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. Indeed, UK-wide research in 2016, which surveyed 10,000 students about their options following A-levels, found that 40% of those surveyed had received “very little” or “no information” about taking on apprenticeships.

    The lack of information of the benefits of apprenticeships and vocational training is the main contributor to the ignorance which surrounds technical and professional education (TPE), and one of the key hindrances to young people considering this route into work. Take earnings for example. Research suggests that the amount apprenticeships earn over the course of their lives exceeds what graduates are likely to earn by up to 270% (source: Barclays and the Centre for Economics and Business Research, August 2016). Meanwhile, university students in England are graduating with the higher levels of debt than those in any other English-speaking country – owing an average of £44,500 upon graduation.

    These are just a few examples that highlight the need for a public awareness to breakdown some of these misunderstandings and to champion technical, practical and vocational learning. As we eagerly await the level of provision dedicated to skills in the manifestos, we do so in anticipation of the Government carrying on the hard-earned momentum in boosting our domestic skills agenda.

    The realities of post-Brexit Britain may have forced the Government’s hand in preparing a domestic workforce, but we should still see this as a positive opportunity for industry to take the lead in reshaping the UK’s workforce and safeguard our future economic prosperity.

    For more information, please see The 5% Club’s recent paper on ‘Providing the skilled workforce for post-Brexit Britain’.

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

    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.

    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.

  • Dale Power Solutions apprentices revamp playpark in bid to win Brathay Apprentice Challenge Award 2017

    08 May 2017

    • Team of 9 Dale Power Solutions apprentices revitalise East and West Ayton Playing Fields, Scarborough

    • The community project to help young people is part of the team’s bid to win the nationwide Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2017

    • This project tied in with National Apprenticeship Week 6-10 March 2017

    Thanks to a team of nine apprentices from Dale Power Solutions, (www.dalepowersolutions.com) children in the villages of East and West Ayton can now enjoy a clean, bright playpark with mini nature reserve.

    Apprentices complete playpark revamp as part of the Brathay Apprentice Challenge Award 2017

    The team of apprentices who are taking part in the national Brathay Apprentice Challenge are required to deliver a community project that will benefit young people as part of the challenge.

    Apprentice team leader Mickyle Clark explains why the park was chosen, “We looked at several local projects before choosing Ayton Playpark as our community project. After talking with Mick Almond, Secretary for East and West Ayton Playing Fields, we knew that between us we had the right set of skills to deliver a great outcome for the village. The cleaning, repairing, painting has all been done by our team of nine apprentices.”

    The project involved a complete clean-up of the park, removing moss from the ground, painting and repairing the play equipment and adding flower beds and animal habitats or and bug hotels to encourage wildlife to the area. The climbing frames, see-saw and swings are now painted in bright, appealing colours.

    The team engaged support from the National Trust to learn how to build appropriate wildlife habitats and then passed on their knowledge by working local 2nd ELO Scout Group to build a number of boxes which are now in situ at the park.

    Mickyle is excited to see how much the park has changed, “It’s amazing to see how the park had been transformed. “All the play equipment has been sanded and repaired and is now painted it vivid colours. We’ve built raised flower beds and planted them with plants and flowers and all the equipment has been sanded down and repaired. It’s now bright and welcoming to both children and bugs!”

    Apprentices complete playpark revamp as part of the Brathay Apprentice Challenge Award 2017

    The team of young men and women aged between 16 and 26 are currently undertaking a range of apprenticeships including electronic engineering, business administration and supply chain management. They hope to follow in the footsteps of Dale apprentices who won the prestigious nationwide Brathay Apprentice Challenge Award in 2015.

    Team captain Mickyle Clark, a Business Administration Apprentice, explains how the team chose the playpark project. “In previous years the Brathay Apprentice Challenge has asked participants to choose a community project to work on as part of their project; this year the community project has to benefit young people. We discussed different project ideas and chose the playpark as we feel we have the right skills for the project and believe we can make a very positive difference in the village.

    “When we saw the Ayton playpark we felt it was a real shame that an outdoor area dedicated to fun was so run down and uninviting. We’re hoping that once we’ve given the park a “Dale Apprentice Makeover” more families will feel like taking their children there to enjoy the outdoors. She added “We’re very grateful for all the help and support we’ve received from Zoe at the National Trust and the Scouts for making up the boxes. We’ve all learnt a lot of new skills along the way.”

    The Dale team also helped at events in the region including “Successful Careers” at Coventry University Scarborough (08/03/17) and events at Derwent Training, Lady Lumley’s and Graham School.

    The Apprentices have even been getting their Directors and CEO – Tim Wilkins involved in the Challenge by switching roles and being apprentices for the day with members of the Brathay Apprentice Challenge team. Dale Power Solutions (www.dalepowersolutions.com) has been running a comprehensive apprenticeship scheme for over 10 years. By going back to grassroots and promoting apprenticeships within schools and colleges, the company has successfully recruited and built a team of bright and enthusiastic apprentices and a thriving apprenticeship programme.

    For more information contact:
    Tracy Parkes, Marketing
    Dale Power Solutions
    T: 01723 583511
    E: tracy.parkes@dalepowersolutions.com

  • Membership of The 5% Club takes off with the onboarding of Rolls-Royce

    24 April 2017

    The 5% Club, the employer-led movement which champions investment in the next generation through workplace training, announces that Rolls-Royce has joined its rapidly growing membership.

    Annabel Hibbert (Engineering Higher Apprentice) and Tom Zalewski (Advanced Technical Apprentice) at Rolls-Royces’s Apprenticeship Academy, Derby.

    Launched 3 years ago, membership is now over 200. Existing members range from SMEs to FTSEs and cover a number of diverse industries, from engineering through to the legal sector.

    Upon signing The 5% Club’s charter, members commit to strive to achieve 5% of their workforce in “earn and learn” positions within 5 years of joining; these roles can be apprentices, sponsored students and graduate trainees. Each member must also report on their progress in their annual report.

    Rolls-Royce has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment and to developing employee skills. In 2015, the business recruited 228 graduates and 277 apprentices throughout the company’s worldwide training programmes.

    Other new joiners include the design consultancy Arcadis, electrical contractor Clarkson Evans and the luxury hotel The Dorchester, which recently hosted a high-level dinner during Apprenticeship Week with The Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skill to discuss how The 5% Club can help equip the UK with the skills it needs to boost productivity and compete internationally.

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

    “Post-Brexit, the UK must ensure that every young individual has the opportunity to develop the skills that will enable them to embark on a rewarding career and enable businesses to compete internationally. I am delighted that Rolls-Royce, a company with a rich history of developing high performance power systems, has taken yet another step in its strong commitment to investing in the skills of the next generation by joining The 5% Club. Rolls-Royce already has a highly regarded training programme for apprentices and graduates and I hope that through membership of The 5% Club that the company can share its understanding of best practice with other member.”

    Paul Broadhead, Head of Community Investment & Education Outreach of Rolls-Royce, said:

    “We continue to develop our employee base, ensuring we have the right skills for our business today and the right capabilities for the future. Our early career programmes are vital to us. Our apprentices and graduates are the fuel that powers our innovation. To enthuse, inspire and attract diverse talent into our company, the sector and wider society we have also committed to reach 6 million people through our STEM programmes and activities by 2020. It is this investment in skills for the future that fits so well with the aims and commitment of the employer membership of The 5% Club. We are therefore proud to join The 5% Club.”

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

    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.

    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.

  • Clarkson Evans commits to the next generation of apprentices by joining The 5% Club

    11 April 2017

    Electrical contractor Clarkson Evans has showcased its commitment to the next generation of apprentices by joining The 5% Club, an industry led initiative focussed on driving momentum into the recruitment of apprentices, graduates and sponsored students.

    Clarkson Evans is committed to training the next generation of electricians by offering around 100 people the opportunity to join its award-winning apprenticeship programme each year.

    In addition the Gloucestershire-based company has recently extended its apprenticeship offering by providing young people with the chance to work as IT, accountancy and business admin apprentices at its head office in Staverton. Currently apprentices make up 25 per cent of the company’s workforce.

    The 5% club was initiated by defence technology company QinetiQ with the aim of getting the UK’s leading public and private companies to commit to raising the number of apprentices, sponsored students and graduates on formal programmes to 5% of their total workforce within five years.

    The aim of the campaign is to tackle both the chronic skills shortage and youth unemployment in Britain and help the country remain at the forefront of innovation. Clarkson Evans will publicly report on its progress in its annual Connect Magazine, sent to customers and staff each year.

    “Training apprentices is fundamental to the long-term growth of our business. Clarkson Evans is a business that prides itself on attracting and retaining the best talent. Over 70% of our current team leaders and area managers are former apprentices and our Managing Director Nathan Evans started his career with us as an apprentice,” said Lindsey Young, HR & Training Director.

    “By joining The 5% Club we are demonstrating our commitment to developing our staff and young people and helping to address the skills shortage in the construction industry nationally. We have some fantastic apprentice employers in Gloucestershire and we hope they will follow our lead and become active members of The Club,” added Mrs Young.

    Dr Sam Healy, Programme Director of The 5% Club said, “We’re delighted to welcome Clarkson Evans to the initiative. The company’s existing efforts to invest in the next generation are greatly welcomed and together we can strive towards a brighter future for young people in Britain.”

    Clarkson Evans is currently actively recruiting apprentices in Oxford, Bracknell, Milton Keynes and Trowbridge and vacancies are available throughout its 17-branch network at various times of the year. For more information on how to apply online visit www.clarksonevans.co.uk.

    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.

    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.

    Clarkson Evans

    Clarkson Evans network of 17 regional branches stretches from Newquay to Crawley and Southampton to Stafford employing over 750 highly skilled members of staff.

    For 36 years, the company has worked alongside all the UK’s major house builders including Barratt, Bovis, Charles Church, David Wilson, Persimmon, Redrow and Taylor Wimpey among others. In 2016, Clarkson Evans wired over 17,000 new homes, that’s more than one in 10 of all new homes built across England and Wales.

    For more information please contact Elaine Hodgin, Head of Sales & Marketing at Clarkson Evans on 01452 858985 or email elaineh@clarksonevans.co.uk.

  • 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.