Our People

Mark Cameron OBE

A former Commodore in the Royal Navy, Mark has a wealth of experience as a Board-level HR professional in the UK’s largest “earn and learn” employer, delivering Royal Navy/MOD Talent Management and Learning & Development.

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In his last role as MOD Policy Head for Training, Education, Skills, Recruiting & Resettlement, he was an active member of the Wider Public Sector Strategic Leadership Group for Apprenticeships, the Apprentice Ambassadors Network and The 5% Club Steering Group. Having joined the Royal Navy aged 16 as a 5-year technical apprentice, Mark benefited from significant investment in his professional development, including a sponsored degree, graduate development scheme and executive MBA.

He is a Chartered Engineer, Chartered Manager and Chartered FCIPD, and was awarded an OBE in 2017 for his services in transforming Naval recruitment. In advising The 5% Club, Mark is passionately committed to helping accelerate its work, so that similar opportunities become ever more widely available across the UK.

Gill Cronin
Director of Operations

Gill has extensive experience in working in the not-for-profit/charity/fourth sector having managed and developed commercially successful memberships in a wide range of industries.

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She was Director of Marketing, Press and Business Information at the British Retail Consortium and more recently was Head of Patron Membership at the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Additionally, she headed up the membership and marketing divisions at the Fostering Network and the Booksellers Association.
Gill has also been a charity trustee for the charity Re-Solv and was Company Secretary for the charity World Book Day.
Having gained a BA from the University of London straight after leaving school, Gill was fortunate to be offered an ‘earn and learn’ opportunity to gain an MBA while working full time.

Helen Tanner
Member & Events Manager

Helen’s recent career has been in membership recruitment and retention. Helen is delighted to be able to bring all the skills and experience gained since her first “earn to learn” role to The 5% Club.

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As well as overseas postings to Norway, Trinidad & Tobago, and Croatia she also spent time working closely with Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Helen’s conscious decision not to go to University saw her join the Civil Service where she spent many successful and happy years supporting British companies exporting and investing overseas.

Board of Trustees

The 5% Club is recruiting Trustees – Help us drive diversity and inclusion in UK skills

For more information visit our Vacancies page

The 5% Club is governed by a Board of Trustees. The Board provides oversight and direction, working with a Steering Board of senior members and The 5% Club’s Executive team to ensure delivery of The 5% Club’s aims. The Board currently has four members and meets quarterly.

The Board of Trustees also delegates certain tasks to working parties comprising Trustees and the Executive, supported by an Advisory Panel of voluntary experts with relevant skills and experience.

Victoria Scarth

Victoria Scarth has advised UK leaders for over 30 years on delivering transformational personal and corporate performance, including creating the underlying culture that makes success sustainable. She has worked within and with organisations from SMEs to FTSE10 multinationals across many sectors and divides her time between London and France.

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From a beginning in marketing, Victoria deliberately broadened her skills and experience through financial analysis, M&A, investor relations, corporate communications and operational management. She has been instrumental in two business start-ups, campaigns on environmental issues and writes unpublished novels as a hobby.

The originator of the concept for The 5% Club and now its Chair, Victoria is a passionate believer in the power of lifelong education as a driver of individual achievement – and the obligation on those who fulfil their ambitions, to help others share in the same opportunities.

Yvonne Baker OBE

Yvonne is Chief Executive of STEM Learning – an organisation working to achieve a world-leading Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education for all young people across the UK, so benefitting them, their communities and the UK economy. Working with education and employers of all sectors and sizes, STEM Learning is the largest provider of STEM support across the UK, delivering a range of STEM-specific activities and support with demonstrable positive impacts.

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Yvonne is a Chartered Chemical Engineer, with a background in manufacturing and management consultancy. Whilst working full-time, she studied for an MBA and moved into the STEM sector to establish the Science and Engineering (now STEM) Ambassadors volunteering programme in 2002. She moved to STEM Learning in 2010, and has been instrumental in the organisation’s earn and learn journey, including the introduction of apprenticeships across the business .

Yvonne retains a strong personal passion for engaging young people (particularly girls and those from disadvantaged backgrounds) in understanding the opportunities, enjoyment and excitement that STEM-related careers – particularly in the engineering and manufacturing sectors – can provide.


David Mercer


David is a seasoned general counsel and FTSE 250 company secretary with nearly 40 years’ experience working in the international resources and construction sectors. Australian by birth, David spent his early career in Melbourne before joining BP and transferring to its London head office in the early 1990s. He then enjoyed a succession of international postings across Europe, the Middle East and Asia before returning to London in 2006 to become General Counsel to BP’s global exploration and production business, leading a team of in-house lawyers across the globe.

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David left BP in 2009 and joined Balfour Beatty in 2011 until retiring from full time employment in 2019 to pursue his passion for sailing. Since then, David has held a number of interim general counsel and company secretary roles at FTSE 250 companies.

David is happily married to Jane, has four “grown and flown” children and now lives in Marylebone, London. He enjoys sailing, golf, opera and natural wine.

Jo Volk

Jo joined Balfour Beatty in 2016 as Director, Resourcing, Engagement and Development where her responsibility includes Emerging Talent Development; Learning and Development; D&I and Engagement. Jo is Chair of Balfour Beatty’s D&I Steering Group.

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Stephen Wardell

Stephen Wardell is a Chartered Accountant. He recently retired from KPMG, having been a partner since 1999. As well as working with and advising large and listed companies, in particular businesses in the construction and business services sectors, he held a number of senior management roles in KPMG.

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Stephen’s most recent management role at KPMG was running the Large Corporates audit business in London – his part of the business had some 300 people under training contracts at any one time: both graduates and school leavers. He is now an independent consultant working with businesses in the UK and mainland Europe.