WSP announces patronage of The 5% Club in further commitment to STEM and early-career professionals



WSP, the engineering and professional services consultancy, has become a patron of The 5% Club, it announced today as part of National Apprenticeship Week.

Members and patrons of The 5% Club aspire to have five per cent of their UK workforce in ‘earn and learn’ positions within five years, including apprentices, sponsored students and graduates on formalised training schemes.

WSP currently has 375 apprentices, scholarship students and undergraduates across the UK, with 647 graduates employed across a three-year scheme, which equates to around 12% of its workforce in ‘earn and learn’ positions.

In joining, WSP is committing to further support STEM initiatives and joins other members and patrons in supporting economic growth, encouraging diversity and inclusion, increasing social mobility and alleviating poverty across the country.

In its September 2019 intake, WSP recruited 69 apprentices and 202 graduates, with the female intake being 44% and 40% respectively.

Mark Naysmith, CEO of WSP UK and South Africa, said: “WSP puts huge value in ensuring that the next generation of engineers, planners and specialists have the skills to provide our clients with solutions to tomorrow’s problems. Much has changed within the industry since I joined WSP as a graduate engineer and it will only continue to evolve, making support for STEM initiatives crucially important.

“We’re pleased to already have 12% of our workforce in the UK in ‘earn and learn’ positions, providing many young people the opportunity to experience first-hand how rewarding a career in engineering can be. Through being part of The 5% Club, WSP is delighted to be furthering its support for STEM initiatives across the UK and ensuring tomorrow’s engineers are playing their role in applying future ready solutions to some of the UK’s most significant projects.”

Leo Quinn, Founder of The 5% Club and Group Chief Executive of Balfour Beatty plc, said: “We are excited to welcome WSP UK as our first new patron of 2020. It is great to see a global engineering firm of nearly 50,000 employees, built on forward-looking professional expertise, stepping forward to support The 5% Club.

“I look forward to working with them to drive the crucial agenda of “earn and learn” in this country – upskilling our national workforce for the future and offering life-changing career opportunities. Our goal in The 5% Club of widening further education to alleviate poverty and create a cohesive and prosperous society is made possible by the generous support of our patrons.”

WSP’s award-winning, bespoke apprentice and undergraduate development programme is mapped to the knowledge, skills and behaviours set out in the apprenticeship standards, and the firm partners with ten universities to deliver its degree apprenticeships, including Kingston University, Warwick University and Exeter University

WSP has been involved in the development of eight apprenticeship ‘trailblazers’, most recently chairing the Environmental Practitioner degree apprenticeship which had its first cohort start in October.