The 5% Club: Platinum and Diamonds at Westminster Abbey!

Yesterday, to mark their Tenth Anniversary, The 5% Club hosted a celebration reception in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries at Westminster Abbey. This commenced the celebrations to mark the Charity’s first decade with one hundred guests all of whom have been instrumental in the growth, relevance, and success of The 5% Club in enlisting UK employers to create more and more  “earn and learn” job opportunities.  

To mark the occasion, The 5% Club made several announcements, including:

  • The introduction of a new “top” tier of Platinum Membership that can be achieved through their Employer Audit Scheme. Platinum members will be participants who have achieved Gold Membership in three consecutive years, and who in their third year have 10% or more staff members “earning and learning” – undertaking Apprenticeships, Graduate Schemes or as a Sponsored Student.
  • The creation of a new 5% Club Fellowship which will open in April for nominations for those individuals who: have shaped the strategy or operations of The 5% Club; or have notably driven increases in the number of workplace learners and/or have improved the inclusion and accessibility of their schemes; or have in the organisation; or have made an outstanding thought leadership contribution on “earn and learn” schemes and the broader skills system. 

Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education, and longstanding member of The 5% Club Steering Group, was recalled to parliament for a vote, so was unable to give his keynote speech as planned. But he reiterated his challenge to grow movement and to encourage more employers  to join for the good of individual employees and the wider economy. Afterwards, he commented:

“As Skills Minister, I am delighted that The 5% Club is celebrating its ten-year anniversary today.

“Since its establishment, The Club has grown from strength to strength by inspiring employers across the country to create more earn and learn job opportunities, which enable people of all backgrounds to train, retrain and upskill. Such innovation is key to building a skilled workforce which meets the evolving demands of businesses, boosts our economy and drives growth.

“I am very proud the Department for Education is a member alongside other wonderful employers, and I am looking forward to another successful decade”.

Furthering his commitment to the cause, The 5% Club Founder, Leo Quinn, Group Chief Executive of Balfour Beatty announced his own “Founder’s Pledge” Scheme that he is launching and funding personally within Balfour Beatty and its supply chain partners. He commented: 

“I have always believed Apprenticeships are critical in providing young people with the skills and capabilities to enjoy lifelong and fulfilling careers. Yet, with one in three not completing their training because of a lack of mental and financial support, something needs to be done.

“I hope that the Pledge that I have launched today – which will see me fund ten apprentices across Balfour Beatty and our supply chain partners – will inspire others to follow suit and bridge the skills shortage we face across every industry and sector”. 

John Cope, Executive Director of Strategy, Policy and Public Affairs at UCAS – partners for The 5% Club Tenth Anniversary year, also spoke at the event commented:

“At UCAS, we know over 50% of those who set up their account with us are interested in doing an apprenticeship. We’re thrilled to support The 5% Club on their 10th anniversary as we work together to convert that interest in an apprenticeship into reality.

“The new, ground-breaking partnership between UCAS and the Government will see undergraduate degrees and apprenticeships sit side-by-side for the first time this year. And it will also boost apprenticeships and support our economy to grow.“

Other attendees at the event included Bridget Phillipson MP –Shadow Secretary of State for Education – and many of the senior policy officials from The Department for Education. Patron Members past and present – who through generosity fund the movement – were also present with C suite representation from Accuracy UK, Balfour Beatty PLC, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin UK, MBDA, QinetiQ, Schneider Electric and WSP. 

More information about The 5% Club. the Employer Audit Scheme and the Earn and Learn Awards is available here