Member Update from Founder of The 5% Club, Leo Quinn

Dear Members and Supporters,

I write to offer you my belated wishes for an excellent 2020, and to thank for your continuing support as a member of The 5% Club.

The Club’s work is vital to ensuring many thousands of young people access meaningful careers, and to enabling this country to compete effectively in global markets by redressing our national skills shortage. Both of these are long-term campaigns, not short-term skirmishes; but our determination is stronger than ever as our membership continues to swell.
In the coming year, our ambitions for The Club include:

  • increasing pressure on the new Government to take radical action to make the Apprenticeship Levy fit for purpose,
  • continuing to encourage Levy take-up by SMEs, including all our supply chains, through the creation of new earn-and-learn roles within their businesses,
  • campaigning for wider awareness of this career path, through parity of esteem with higher education, and of course
  • continuing to drive expansion of our membership to help deliver this agenda.
In line with our drumbeat of networking and best-practice events, there are already two of these in the diary for 2020 – in March and July. I’m looking forward to attending the member event at Heathrow Employment & Skills Academy on Friday 10 July, where Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye and I will be closing the programme, and where I hope to talk to as many of you as possible.

I would also like to inform you that, after three years of successfully leading The 5% Club as Director-General, Penny Cobham is standing down to focus on her other interests, effective 15 April. I am sure you will join me in thanking Penny for her work on behalf of The Club and our shared goals since 2017, and in wishing her the very best for the future.

In the meantime, should you or your team require help on anything related to The 5% Club, please do not hesitate to contact me,  or Gill Cronin Director of Operations (

Kind regards

Leo Quinn
Group Chief Executive, Balfour Beatty plc
Founder, The 5% Club