Employment Minister Priti Patel joined representatives across the further education industry 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.
What are UK businesses doing for apprentices?
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 event was a fantastic success’
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. It was launched 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. Members include the Ministry of Defence, Balfour Beatty, Vision Express, Babcock, Serco and Pinsent Masons as well as many SMEs.
Before the meeting, six members 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.”