Business Leaders Drive a Bright “Earn & Learn” Future


Last week The 5% Club used the iconic BT Tower in London – London’s tallest building when completed in July 1964 – to launch its new Business Leadership Council. The Council will advise The Club how best to optimise the impact that this rapidly growing employer movement delivers.

Founded in 2013 by Leo Quinn, now Group Chief Executive of Balfour Beatty PLC,  The 5% Club today numbers over 1,000 Employer Members whose combined workforce exceeds 1.8 million people in the UK. Of this total, well over 106,000  (over 6%) are enrolled on workplace learning programmes – these “earn & learn” schemes centred on Apprenticeships, Graduate Schemes and Sponsored Students.

The formation of the  Business Leadership Council is the next  step in the continuing expansion of the charity. It will bring together  pre-eminent business leaders drawn principally from Patron Members, Sponsors and The 5% Club Fellowship. It will be independently chaired by Rt Hon Anne Milton, former Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships, an acknowledged thought leader and actor across the skills arena. This new body will meet informally twice a year . 

Introducing the new Business Leadership Council, Club founder Leo Quinn said, “Following The Club’s milestone 10th anniversary last year, we want to ensure we tap into British business leadership to help unleash this country’s full potential.  A highly skilled workforce is essential to building a future prosperity shared by all, but ultimately has to be delivered by employers.”

Rt Hon Anne Milton, added “It is vital for the economy and the productivity of the country that we have a workforce with the skills that employers need. The Business Leadership Council, drawn from The 5% Club’s network, has significant collective expertise to give invaluable insight to policy makers. We hope that the incoming Government will use our resources to find solutions that work on the ground”.

Mark Cameron OBE, CEO of The 5% Club, said, “The formation of our Business Leadership Council will provide us with quality business insights and  practical actions to inform our strategy and the range of services we offer our members – both free and fee-based. Workplace learning has rightly grabbed its place in the General Election campaigns of most parties, and the new Council will help us work effectively with the elected Government to ensure UK business can maximise the full potential of workplace learning. This is vital to enhancing both national productivity and prosperity and to ensuring that all those able to work have access to quality and inclusive employment opportunities.”