A group of the UK’s leading companies have today launched a major campaign calling on industry to adopt a new 5% target for graduates, apprentices and sponsored students in their organisations.
The 5% Club is calling for all public and private companies in the UK to join them in ‘investing in a generation’.
Spearheaded by defence and security company QinetiQ, other companies and organisations that have signed-up as founding members include Babcock International, the UK arm of giant EADS, Atkins, MBDA and Renishaw. The campaign is also endorsed by the CBI and the department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
The aim of the 5% Club is to address the twin issues of youth unemployment, currently standing at nearly one million, and poor apprenticeship figures. Only one in ten young people join an apprentice scheme when they leave school, a figure that The 5% Club will aim to solve by providing more youth training opportunities.
By becoming a member of The 5% Club, companies will publicly report progress on the 5% target in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) section of their Annual Report and Accounts or equivalent- the first time such a target will be measured.
The 5% Club charter pledges members to:
- Play a part in addressing youth employment and skills shortage issues
- Pledge to work toward having a minimum 5% of their UK workforce enrolled on formalised apprentice, sponsored student and/or graduate development schemes within five years
- Report publicly every year on the above as a CSR metric in its Annual Report and Accounts or equivalent
- Be an ambassador of The 5% Club and encourage other businesses to participate in the campaign.
All current members are urging more public and private companies to follow suit and aim to update on progress using various platforms, including social media, as the campaign progresses.