The 5% Club have kicked off 2014 with the signing up of four new companies, including Balfour Beatty and Thales. All of the new members have committed to the Club Charter, ensuring that 5% of their workforce are apprentices, graduates or sponsored students on structured programmes within the next five years.
The four new members to join The 5% Club are:
- Balfour Beatty– An international infrastructure group, with 20,000 employers in the UK.
- Thales– One of the UK’s leading engineering and technology companies.
- The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory– The MOD’s science and technology organisation.
- Attenda– One of the UK’s largest data centre and Cloud supplier.
The four new additions brings the current number of companies in The 5% Club to 18 and the total number of UK employees to 100,000.
Balfour Beatty Chief Executive, Andrew McNaughton said: “The growth of the construction industry will be vital to helping the UK economic recovery, but at the same time the industry is facing the prospect of a skills shortage. By helping young people to get into work with the proper training and qualifications we can ensure the sustainability of our own business and the wider communities in which we work.”
Victor Chavez, CEO of Thales UK, said: “Organisations that do not invest in the next generation are not only failing to secure their own future, they are also failing in their responsibility to the young people of the UK. For Thales to remain at the forefront of the UK’s engineering and technology projects, and more broadly for the UK to have the right level of engineering and technical skills to meet future global demand, we must ensure we have excellent training and development programmes in place.
Thales has a strong culture of training and development that stretches back decades and we have developed a comprehensive suite of training experiences for young people – including our excellent graduate development programme, apprentice schemes, internships and other mentoring initiatives that combine learning and working. Our membership of The 5% Club demonstrates Thales Group’s long-term commitment to training and Thales UK’s commitment to the young people of the UK.”
Dstl’s Chief Executive Jonathan Lyle said: “As a public sector science and technology organisation, Dstl is delighted to join The 5% club. We are passionate about supporting and employing young people by offering a variety of opportunities including apprenticeships, industrial placements, Year In Industry placements and graduate opportunities – they bring innovation and fresh ideas into our workforce as well as helping us to play our part in addressing the UK’s skills shortages.”
Leo Quinn, CEO of QinetiQ Group PLC, a founder member of The 5% Club, said: “The breadth of different organisations to have signed up – from construction to law – shows how widely youth unemployment is seen as a national issue – and how much industry wants to raise our skills training in the UK.
“This is a terrific start to 2014 for The 5% Club and we urge other companies to follow Balfour Beatty, Thales, Osborne Clarke, DSTL and Attenda in signing up.”