The 5% Club

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This article is about an industry led compaign in the United Kingdom. For the debut solo record, see The 5% Album.

The 5% Club is an industry led campaign focused on creating momentum behind the recruitment of apprentices and graduates into the workforce in the UK and to create opportunities for sponsored students.[1] Founded by UK defence, security and technology company QinetiQ, the stated purpose of The 5% Club is to address the issues of the chronic skills shortage and youth unemployment facing the UK.[2] UK Government Ministers have publicly backed the campaign on various occasions, though most notably in February 2014, praising the galvanising effect it was having on employers.[3]

Upon becoming a member of The 5% Club, companies sign a Charter.[4] The charter seeks commitment in five areas:

  • Commitment to helping the country's growth agenda and acknowledge the importance of graduates and apprentices to business
  • Developing the skill sets of the country’s young people as both a business and social imperative
  • Pledging to work towards having a minimum 5% of the UK workforce enrolled on formalised apprentice, sponsored student and/or graduate development schemes within five years
  • Measuring and reporting on the member’s progress annually against the above metric in their Corporate Social Responsibility section of their Annual Report and Accounts or equivalent document
  • Committed to encouraging other businesses to participate in the campaign.

The 5% Club Members[edit]

The 5% Club launched in October 2013[5] with six founding members: QinetiQ, Atkins, Renishaw, Airbus Group (under its previous name EADS), Babcock International and MBDA. A full list of members is below.

UK high street opticians Vision Express joined the Club in November 2013,[6] followed by plumbing company, Pimlico Plumbers, technology and consultancy firm Tessella, and Dale Power Solutions.

Law firms Pinsent Masons and Osborne Clarke, engineering consultants Clark Eriksson, and marine manufacturer Seaway Powell Marine, also became members.[7] The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has endorsed The 5% Club and upon its launch, publicly urged British industry to strive to commit to the 5% employment target.[8]

  • QinetiQ
  • Atkins
  • MBDA
  • Airbus Group
  • Renishaw
  • Babcock
  • Dale Power Solutions
  • Vision Express
  • Tessella
  • Pimlico Plumbers
  • Pinsent Masons
  • Osborne Clarke
  • Clark Eriksson
  • Seaway Marine Powell
  • Dstl
  • Balfour Beatty
  • Thales
  • JJ Churchill
  • Attenda
  • Finmeccanica
  • Packaging Automation LTD
  • KPMG
  • Haleys chartered accountants
  • AWE
  • Warren Services
  • Key Training Group
  • Redrow
  • Damar Group
  • Unison
  • Croudace homes Group
  • Maylarch Environmental Limited

The 5% Club In The Media[edit]

Leo Quinn, CEO of QinetiQ, appeared on BBC Breakfast when the campaign was launched on 7 October 2013. Speaking to BBC Business presenter Steph McGovern, Quinn called on industrialists to commit to addressing the national skills shortage.

On 9 October 2013, the Daily Mail reported on the launch of The 5% Club. The paper described the Club’s aim as “an ambitious call but could make the difference in years to come as manufacturers fear a skills gap could dent their performance”.

Upon the launch of The 5% Club, The Scotsman described getting young people into structured training schemes as ‘both a business and social imperative’. The Scotsman went on to add that it is time Britain stopped being “aspirational”, or less politely all mouth and no trousers, in the field of apprenticeships. We wish the five per cent club the very best.”

In October 16th 2013, Leo Quinn discussed the successes of The 5% Club on the Jeff Randall Live programme on Sky News. Quinn said on the show that it was imperative that UK industry play its part in tackling youth unemployment by matching the commitment of the government and educating system.

On 8 November 2013, Leo Quinn explained in The Daily Telegraph how The 5% Club can contribute to the building of a better British economy. He commented on Britain’s pedigree for engineering and innovation, describing the country as a ‘byword for invention’. Quinn also urged the nation to address the chronic skills-shortage in order to generate industrial growth: “Young people are the very resource critical to our future ability to grow and compete globally, to revive Britain’s engineering reputation.[9]

The progress of The 5% Club was covered by the Daily Mail on 18 November, when the paper’s City News Editor, Ben Griffiths, commented on the impact of The Club’s members.[10] On 6 March 2014, Nick Pollard, CEO of Balfour Beatty, appeared on business news channel CNBC to discuss the need for the UK to step up its apprenticeship drive and the efforts of The 5% Club in addressing the nations skills shortage.[11]


  1. ^ The 5% Club [1]
  2. ^ Skills survey shows job vacancies and skills shortages increase, [2]
  3. ^ Global engineering company and housebuilder among new members of The 5% Club [3]
  4. ^ The 5% Club Charter [:]
  5. ^ The Financial Times [4]
  6. ^ Vision Express is First Retailer to Join National Drive to Cut Skills Gap [5]
  7. ^ The 5% Club of apprentices can build a better British economy [6]
  8. ^ CBI backs training target campaign [7]
  9. ^ The 5% Club of apprentices can build a better British economy, The Telegraph [8]
  10. ^ CITY FOCUS: QinetiQ spearheads apprentices campaign to fight for future of UK engineering, The Daily Mail [9]
  11. ^ Apprenticeships important: Balfour Beatty, CNBC [10]