Last Thursday (3 December 2015), Employment Minister Priti Patel joined representatives across industry, including house builders Croudace Homes and Redrow, in celebrating the value apprenticeships hold. Attendees were part of The 5% Club, an industry led campaign focussed on driving momentum into the recruitment of apprentices and graduates.
The member’s quarterly meeting, which was hosted by member Pimlico Plumbers at their Head Quarters in London, saw representatives from the campaign’s 135 member employers gather together to discuss what their companies are doing to provide great earn and learn opportunities for young people.
By joining the campaign, members commit to ensuring 5% of their workforce consists of apprentice, graduates on formal programmes and sponsored students within a five year time frame. The pledge also asks members to publicly report their progress in their Annual Report.
During her speech at the event, Patel said, “Everyone should be talking about the 5% Club. This is a fantastic initiative to ensure companies have the next generation of skilled workers, through high-quality apprenticeships and graduate schemes.”
Pippa Morgan, head of Education and Skills at the CBI also spoke at the event on the apprenticeship levy and what it means for businesses.
The campaign was founded in October 2013 by QinetiQ, Babcock International, Airbus, Atkins, MBDA and Renishaw at a time when there were approximately 1 million young people unemployed. Leo Quinn, former CEO at QinetiQ and now CEO of Balfour Beatty, launched the campaign to tackle both the chronic skills shortage and the youth unemployment crisis in the UK. So far, the initiative has encouraged members to provide training for nearly 40,000 young people.
Of the campaign’s 135 members approximately 30 are in the construction industry and are paving the way for others in the sector to invest in a generation. Construction companies that have taken the 5% pledge include Croudace Homes, Redrow, Balfour Beatty, BAM construct and Mace Group and Clark Contracts.
Before the meeting, six members, including construction companies Croudace and Maylarch gathered for a roundtable discussion on encouraging girls to take up training opportunities in the trade sector.
Dr Sam Healy, Programme Director of The 5% Club said, “The event was a fantastic success and showcased what a great people network the campaign has become. Every quarter, we get together to share best practice in providing quality earn and learn opportunities for young people and it was a great opportunity for our members to get to share their thoughts with the Minister and the CBI.”
To find out more information about The 5% Club, and how to become a member, please visit www.5percentclub.org.uk or get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Information about the campaign can also be found on Twitter, and LinkedIn.