The 5% Club Announces 10 Fellows to Celebrate 10 Years!

Ten Fellowships have been awarded by The 5% Club their Tenth Anniversary at their Celebratory Event at Mansion House, 29th November 2023..

This new scheme was created to recognise those individuals who have driven inspired action across and within The 5% Club movement and have impacted positively on the delivery of increased, inclusive, and accessible workplace learning for all. 

All Fellowships conferred recognise those who have delivered impact across the full range earn and learn schemes – apprenticeships, graduate schemes, and sponsored students.


The inaugural Fellows are:

  • Andrew Churchill OBE, Chairman, JJ Churchill
  • Tony Ellender, Professional Development Manager, Balfour Beatty UK
  • Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP
  • Dr. Sam Healy BEM, Group Director ESG, Qinetiq
  • Karima Khandker, Director of Resourcing, Skills and EDI, Thames Water
  • Mark Lomas, Head of Culture, Lloyds
  • Katie Nightingale, Director, People Consulting, Grant Thornton
  • Professor Steve Petrie, Regional Director, Centrica/British Gas
  • Chris Shirley, Head of UK Skills & Development, Qinetiq
  • Kate Whatley, Commercial Manager, SPV

This  group will act as role models for others as they look to deliver social impact and will be available to share advice and guidance by supporting the delivery of events, through their own thought-leadership, or by connecting The 5% Club to the right people, employers, and organisations in their own professional networks. In addition, they will help shape The 5% Club thinking and operational activities and will be invited to sit on the Steering Group or Advisory Panel.

Mark Cameron OBE, CEO of The 5% Club commented, “The creation of today’s Fellows is our way of recognising the support we have received from those who give of their time, influence and thinking to ensure we have the necessary edge to deliver meaningful social impact. Quite simply we would not have achieved what we have in our first 10 years without these Fellows – they have helped us get to where we are today through a wide range of support and encouragement. Out thanks to all of them.”

The 5% Club Fellows paid tribute to The Club and their delight at their newly conferred Fellowship:

I was involved at the start of The 5% Club and ten years on it is fantastic to see how much has been achieved. The 5% Club has gone from strength to strength and I am very proud to have been part of the campaign. I am delighted to be selected as a Fellow.” Dr. Sam Healy BEM, Group Director ESG, Qinetiq

“I am proud to have been involved with The 5% Club since it began. For me, The Club’s strengths are its simplicity and clarity and the fact that it is about action not words.  It has been fantastic to see its growth and the impact that it now has as a thought leader in skills. To go from being an avid and active supporter to one of the inaugural Fellows is a great honour … it will enable me to provide further support for The 5% Club and contribute to its bright future.” Tony Ellender, Professional Development Manager, Balfour Beatty UK

“I joined The 5% Club nearly 10 years ago, In March 2018 I was delighted to be asked to join The 5% Club’s Steering Board and have witnessed both the growth in membership numbers and the vindication of our underlying fervent advocacy for apprentices and graduates in our workplaces…essential for the country to thrive in increasingly tough international markets. Being made a Fellow is a surprise and honour in equal measure, and I look forward to continuing my support for The 5% Club as it moves into its second decade.” Andrew Churchill OBE, Chairman, JJ Churchill

“I have been involved in The 5% Club for several years.  Having started my career as an apprentice, I know first hand of the amazing opportunities that this career pathway offers people – of all ages! The 5% Club provides employers with a simple but brilliant way of declaring their commitment to investing in paid training and developing the skills we will need as a nation to continue to prosper” Professor Steve Petrie, Regional Director, Centrica/British Gas

“I have worked with The 5% Club for over 7 years. Seeing The Club grow and develop over that time and being part of it has been personally rewarding. Having worked with young people … being recognised by The 5% Club for my work in this area is a huge honour. None of us working in this sector do it for recognition – we do it to try and make a difference to people’s lives. It has been a privilege to work with The 5% Club and I look forward to continuing to contribute as a Fellow.” Chris Shirley, Head of UK Skills & Development, Qinetiq

“I got involved with The 5% Club around nine years ago. I have worked closely with the team to support The Club’s activities through event planning and presentations, as well as being part of the Advisory panel alongside my industry peers. I have seen The Club grow in member numbers to a fantastic level, adapt their business model, and receive charitable status. I am honoured to be awarded one of the Fellowships…It allows me to continue the work I am passionate about with this wonderful charity and advocate for diverse emerging talent within UK organisations.” Katie C Nightingale, Director, People Consulting, Grant Thornton

“I have worked with The Club for over 5 years now, their approach, to encourage employers to support earn and learn opportunities has been great, really focused on a much needed area that will drive business benefit.  I am committed to bridging skills gaps and overcoming challenges by tapping into an often-overlooked talent pool. Through strategic partnerships and collaboration, my aim is to cultivate a fair society, stimulate economic prosperity, champion social value, and elevate social mobility. I am so excited to be a Fellow, to continue championing this change, leveraging my years of commitment to this cause. Joining The 5% Club presents a tremendous opportunity and privilege, and I am eager to use my role to reshape mindsets, transform society, combat underemployment, and effect tangible change. I have been driving this agenda for change for many years, and look forward to doing more of this with The 5% Club.” Karima Khandker, Director of Resourcing, Skills and EDI, Thames Water

“I have been a member of The 5% Club for the last 5 years. I am thrilled to have been appointed to the Honorary role as Fellow of The 5% Club. This appointment offers recognition of the significant contribution made to The 5% Club and for championing skills and workplace learning. Skills and education are so incredibly important to SPV and our values and principles align perfectly with those of The 5% Club.” Kate Whatley, Commercial Manager, SPV