The Employer Audit – become a Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze Accredited Member – WMCA Audit Scheme



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



The 2024-25 Employer Audit is now open to register your participation 

What is it?

The 5% Club offers an enhanced, prestigious level of membership awarded via an accredited benchmarking programme. The Employer Audit recognises the UK’s leading employers of apprentices, graduates and degree placement students.

What do I get?

The Employer Audit provides invaluable benchmarking information for apprenticeship managers, graduate recruiters and senior management. This exclusive benchmarking research report analyses your latest employment and recruitment  ‘earn as you learn’ graduates, apprentices and trainees data. The research also interrogates your EDI data held (many employers have gaps) and provides useful EDI data for your EDI colleagues, as well as useful data to use internally to influence for change using robust data and industry analysis. Each employer taking part in the research programme receives official accreditation as either a Bronze, Silver or Gold member of The 5% Club.

What do I do next?

We will be running a series of online briefing events as follows:

  • Wednesday 12 June  11am – 12noon

If you wish to reserve a place on one of these briefing events – please see booking details here

Registration to participate in the Audit:
Is already open if you wish to register now, please complete the registration form at the end of this page

Closing date to register to participate is Monday 1 July.

How do I participate?

Please complete the Employer Audit Registration Form below including all details required to register your participation in this year’s Audit.

2023-24 Gold Silver and Bronze Members – see a full list of our members who participated in the 2023-24 Employer Audit and gained enhanced membership status.

UK National Employer “Earn & Learn” Awards – Participants in the Employer Audit 2023-24 will automatically be entered for the UK National Employer “Earn & Learn” Awards; there is no need to complete Award submission forms or provide lengthy documentation. Winners will be selected from the research with Employer Audit participants.


New for 2024

In 2023 we introduced the Platinum level of membership, awarded to participants who 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.

In 2024 we have added T Levels students to the criteria for sponsored students.

This year we are also introducing a dashboard summary of key benchmarking information in addition to the full analysis reports.


Insights from three year’s of Employer Audits have now been captured in a report, The 5% Club Employer Audit – inspiring increased, socially-inclusive ‘earn and learn’ opportunities , through employer benchmarking and annual membership awards 2021-2023.





The following Q&A may help with any further questions you may have. If you wish to speak to a member of The 5% Club Team please email:

Secretary of State for Education, Gillian Keegan MP with Mark Cameron, CEO of The 5% Club


“I am a big supporter of The 5% Club and the way they continue to inspire positive employer action for apprenticeships and earning whilst learning routes. This initiative, which will recognise those employers who truly invest in and lead the skills agenda, will do much to further our Plan for Jobs and help Build Back Better after COVID-19.” 

The Rt Hon Gillian Keegan MP, Secretary of State for Education

The 5% Club is an annual research programme, in partnership with High Fliers Research, to support and validate employers as they work towards recruiting and employing at least 5% of their UK workforce on graduate, apprenticeships or other ‘earn as you learn’ training programmes.

The Employer Audit provides each participating employer with:

  • Official accreditation for employers whose apprentices, graduates and degree placement students represent at least 0%-5% of their UK workforce (participants at 5% plus awarded Gold Membership, participants at 2.5%-5% of their workforce awarded Silver Membership, and participants at 0%-2.5% awarded Bronze Membership.) Platinum Membership – 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.
  • Enhanced logo – to reflect Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum membership for use on company websites, social media, contract bids etc.
  • A confidential research report analysing the organisation’s employment and recruitment of graduates, apprentices and other ‘earn and learn’ employees – benchmarked with other employers in your industry or business sector, and across the wider membership of The 5% Club.
  • Delegate places at The 5% Club Annual Employer Symposium to be held in November , which will showcase Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum members, all of whom are employers that have demonstrated outstanding commitment and progress with their ‘earn as your learn’ programmes. Highlights of the key research from the Employer Audit will be presented and attendees will have the opportunity to drill down further into the research.
  • Tickets to our celebratory event at Mansion House, City of London, Thursday 5 December.

The Employer Audit is competitively priced and represents excellent value for money.

  • Large Employer (250+ employees) – £1,495 (plus VAT)
  • Small or medium-sized employers (fewer than 250 employees) – £695 (plus VAT) 

Research Scope

  • Participants are asked to complete an online questionnaire of 10 questions which will comprise of:.
  • ‘Earn and learn’ data (the number of employees on graduate schemes, apprenticeships and other ‘earn and learn’ training programmes, this percentage will be used to award your bronze, silver or gold membership.)
  • The breadth and balance of your organisation’s schemes and programmes
  • Your organisation’s commitment to inclusion and social mobility.
  • The quality of your organisation’s training and development schemes, including assurance, standards and completion rates.
  • Plans for future growth of ‘earn as you learn’ opportunities.

Research Format/Checking Process

  • All non-data questions are straightforward tick box/ or yes/no with some free text for additional information.
  • The non-data questions will provide context and back ground information, they will not be used to impact the level of award gained.
  • A researcher is allocated to you so you can check any queries you may have.
  • Once submitted, the researcher will get in touch to verify your answers (a brief telephone call).
  • We anticipate the questionnaire taking no more than a few hours of your time to complete.
  • 21 May-12 June online briefings for those who want to know more about the Audit, more information to follow.
  • 1 July – registration for the 2024-25 Audit closes (research timetable advised on registration)
  • Autumn – research reports issued and confirmation of award levels notified including new logos and a PR toolkit
  • November – Autumn Symposium to include awarding of Gold, Silver and Bronze members and detailed presentation of research results
  • 5 December – in person celebratory event at Mansion House, City of London
  • Yes, we will be running the Employer Audit every year to ensure we reflect the latest award level according to members’ commitment to ‘earn and learn’.
  • All participating members will be given a specially designed, dated gold, silver or bronze logo. to use in their external comms plans and promotions.
  • All Audit participants will be profiled and promoted on The 5% Club’s website.
  • Members will also be given materials to support the announcement of their award.
  • What are the qualifying percentages for Gold, Silver & Bronze?
    Gold is awarded to companies with over 5% of their workforce in earn and learn roles, silver 2.5 – 5% and bronze , between 0 and 2.5%. Platinum members are 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.
  •  When is the census point?
    The data you provide should be based on your employment data at 31 July 2024.
  • When is the deadline for applying?
    1 July 2024
  • Is the process the same as 2023?
    Yes, the process for 2024 is the same as before.
  • Is the questionnaire the same as 2023?
    The 2024 questionnaire is very similar. You should however use the new link you will be sent.
  • We previously participated; do I need to re-register for 2024?
    Yes. You need to re-register
  • “The employer audit gave us the opportunity to review and reflect on best practice and prompted a few changes in approach, such as closer attention to upskilling Apprentices as well as new entrants”.

Tony Ellender, Emerging Talent Manager, Balfour Beatty

  • “adi Group are tremendously proud of our apprenticeship program and to be externally recognised by The 5% Club as a Gold award winner is not only a great accolade, but more importantly, supports our business’ on-going commitment to the next generation of engineers”

James Sopwith, Group Strategic Account Director, adi Group

  • “The employer audit was straight forward, however it made you think about your current apprentices and future plans, which is very positive. Being awarded Gold with The 5% Club shows our commitment to delivering quality apprenticeship programmes and highlights to young people that we will invest in their future.”

Ceri Travers, Organisational Development & Early Careers Manager, William Hare Limited

  • “Taking part in the audit enabled us to scrutinise our practices and realise how well we are doing as a business to attract, encourage and support trainees in the workplace. It was interesting to see the results of the benchmarking research which inspired us to continue to try to achieve even better results in a competitive market and explore different approaches to retaining and promoting our trainees internally.”

Karen Jones, Group HR Director, Redrow Homes Ltd

  • “Here at RS Components we are so proud to be among the Gold members of The 5% club. We as a business have felt very supported by The 5% Club since joining and have benefitted greatly by our affiliation with them. The whole audit process was not only simple but also eye opening in showing us what information we do and don’t have on our apprentices.”

Tim Beasley, Apprenticeship Programme Manager, RS Components Ltd

  • “Here at TransUnion, we’re delighted to have been named a silver member of The 5% Club. As an organisation, we’re committed to raising the number of ‘earn and learn’ roles to help support and educate our colleagues, so they can fulfil their career ambitions. Having undertaken the annual employer benchmarking programme in July 2021, we’re proud to have achieved silver membership within our first year. This process has been straightforward to implement, with support provided by The 5% Club, and we’re excited to continue the programme and enhance our membership status further.”

Tammy Taylor-Stowe, Chief Human Resources Officer, TransUnion in the UK

  • “Birmingham City Council was proud to participate in the inaugural Employer Audit by The 5% Club. The audit enabled the council to review and benchmark its current position to earn and your learn opportunities and then identify target areas and develop and action plan as to how it can increase its offer and eventually become a Gold member of The 5% Club.”

Amarjit Sahota, Culture Change Manager, Birmingham City Council

  • “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded Gold standard following the recent Employer Audit. The success of our business and the accolades we receive, are only possible because of the outstanding people we employ. We are proud of the number of earn and learn roles that we offer which bring fresh talent and diverse perspectives to our organisation and are committed to continuously increasing the opportunities available.”

Laura Bell, Group HR & OD Manager, Bellway Homes Limited

  • “It is incredibly important to our business succession plan to ensure we continue to recruit and develop apprentices and the Employer Audit really helps us to focus on maintaining our momentum in this regard. Our membership of The 5% club is something we are proud to share with all of our stakeholders.”

Sarah Gregory​, Director of HR, JJ Churchill Ltd

  • “The process of undertaking the Employer Audit was very well thought out by The 5% Club and was seamless from start to finish. During the Audit, we were able to reflect on our current position and forecast for the coming years, in relation to investing in our young people and our apprenticeship/graduate schemes. I highly recommend taking the time to engage with The 5% Club, to understand how your organisation performs in this particular area and to highlight areas of improvement.”

Claire Jamison, HR Manager, CPMS

  • “The 5% Club Employer Audit was an extremely easy process, with the report giving good insights on how KUP compared to other organisations and their apprenticeship journeys and the networking providing useful contacts for sharing ideas. A very beneficial membership which supports KUP’s commitment to our people and their development.”

Jackie Hinton, Human Resources Manager, Kohler Uninterruptible Power

  • “Baltic became proud members of The 5% Club in August 2020, sharing passionately in the mission and purpose of the group to positively shape the future of the skills and employment landscape through investment and commitment to a diverse learning, skills and opportunity ecosystem.
  • We were also proud to be the first employer to engage in the inaugural Employer Audit in 2021. The process was seamless from application and self-assessment to researcher interviews and the insights from our personalised benchmark report have been incredibly impactful. The value of participating in this initiative is multi-faceted; it has served to underline our commitment to advocating and enabling earn and learn opportunities (internally and externally), it has enabled us to celebrate our successes whilst identifying key areas for improvement and priority (diversity and social mobility), it is a key element of our employer brand narrative and has positively impacted our talent attraction and retention efforts, and it has opened doors to networking and commercial opportunities with like-minded organisations (both members and non-members of the club).
  • I would highly recommend joining this fantastic community of like-minded, progressive organisations and would encourage participation in the Audit as your first priority.”

Matt Welch, People and Culture Manager, Baltic Apprenticeships

  • “Bagnalls has employed apprentices for over 100 years. We fully believe in offering people the chance to earn as they learn when they may not have prior experience. In particular, we want to support young people to access opportunities and get a foot onto the career ladder. To show our support for apprenticeships, we made a commitment to The 5% Club in 2016. We know from years of experience that by investing in the training and development of colleagues that we will have a skilled and committed team for the future. As proud Gold members, I think it is essential that we communicate and share the benefits of being members of The 5% Club and encourage other companies to consider making this important commitment too. Apprenticeships are good for industries struggling to recruit and retain talent, and for society as a whole.”

Ellie Jobes, HR Director, Bagnalls

    The Employer Audit Registration Form

    Participation in Employer Audit 2024-25 authorised by:

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

    Payment details

    The invoice or receipt will be prepared in your name and state ‘The 5% Club 2024-25 Employer Audit’


    The Employer Audit is subject to our Terms and Conditions which can be viewed in the Terms and Conditions PDF

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