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News Release

  • 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.