West Midland Combined Authority Scheme

A joint partnership between The 5% Club and West Midlands Combined Authority – ensuring a skilled and thriving economy for the region

This project is funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.



Problem Statement: The West Midlands has a youth employment challenge which the West Midland Combined Authority (WMCA) is driven to resolve, alongside addressing a potentially grave shortage of key skills in the region, both in traditional roles and those now needed for the Information Age.

The Gravity Solution: Our approach is to build on the core purpose of The 5% Club – inspiring positive employer action – by working with the WMCA to drive increased investment in inclusive and accessible workplace skills development and youth employment within Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Employers in the region. We will deploy our Employer Audit scheme to baseline performance, which we will follow-up with specialist consultancy services to drive insights, action and ultimately increase youth employment in targeted areas. These services will be provided free to participating SME Employers.

Benefits: This programme will be bespoke to the West Midlands, building on our broader regional and large employer Gravity Scheme which has been developed in  association with Grant Thornton People Advisory Services and using grant-funding from the ERA Foundation. The benefits from participation will include:

  • Accredited membership of The 5% Club awarded through a bespoke version of our Employer Audit programme to measure SME investment in “earn & learn” schemes. Awarded membership will be uniquely badged with the WMCA and will comprise Bronze, Silver and Gold Memberships; Platinum membership will be available on qualification in year 3.
  • Employer Research and Benchmarking Report that will compare and contrast the performance of all participants, using the Employer Audit benchmarking approach, with the detail captured in a bespoke 30+ page report for each participant.
  • A symposium and celebration event hosted by the WMCA that will be facilitated by experts to explore, compare and contrast the overall findings of the research in a plenary forum, to be followed by a celebration event exclusively for participants.
  • Targeted consultancy support will be provided to assist participants in drawing insights from the process, develop action plans and to target improvement, with a focus on increasing employment and workplace learning opportunities for young people (aged 18 – 25).

Our Approach: It will be collaborative and bespoke. We will work with participant SMEs and which will:

  • Deliver an Employer Audit to the selected/targeted employers. This will take 2-3 months to complete most likely by November 2024. Reports will be available and accredited membership will be awarded at this stage.
  • Bring this curated SME Employer community together to explore the findings of the Audit and to celebrate their success in achieving accredited membership of The 5% Club. This will most likely be in January 2025.
  • Deliver targeted support to inspire further action to enhance the workplace learning (earn & learn scheme) offering and its delivery. This will be delivered in January-April 2025.

Cost: This scheme is funded fully by the WMCA and there is no cost for any of the participating employers.

Time Commitment: The Employer Audit has been running successfully since 2021, and is designed to deliver maximum benefit for minimal employer input. Data collation and input will take on average 3-hours, and the comprehensive action planning consultancy will only require a further 3-6 hours.

Next Steps:  register for interest using the registration form below.

We are planning the following briefing events

  • Wednesday 21 August, 11.30am-12.30pm
  • Tuesday 10 September, 11.30am-12.30pm

Booking details to follow shortly

During these briefing events you will be able to explore the scheme further with the WMCA and The 5% Club Team.

A flyer summarising this information for sharing with colleagues/contacts is available here

Register Here


    The WMCA Employer Audit Registration Form

    Participation in Employer Audit 2024-25 authorised by:

    Person who will be our contact for the Employer Audit 2024-25 (if different from above):

    I consent to this website processing personal information to respond to my participation request. I have permission to give consent on behalf of all contacts provided.