What is businesses’ responsibility to the next generation?

by Dr Sam Healy, Programme Director of The 5% Club

[This article was originally published on The Great Business Debate http://www.greatbusinessdebate.co.uk/opinion/what-is-businesses-responsibility-to-the-next-generation/ ]

With Responsible Business Week upon us, it’s a good time for all businesses to reflect on their contributions to a fairer society and a more sustainable future.

The term ‘responsible business’ encompasses a broad range of issues, but one of continued importance is how we can play our part in providing opportunities for Britain’s young people. The latest Labour Market statistics released last week, show there are currently 742,000 unemployed young people in the UK. These young people need help to make that crucial first step into the workplace.

Sam Pic 2The youth of today are the most critical resource for the UK’s ability to develop and compete globally and to create the skilled workers and business leaders of the future. For employers, not only is investing in the nation’s youth a huge benefit to society but it is a business imperative.

When we first set up the 5% Club in 2013, there were nearly a million young people out of work.

The nationwide campaign has proven successful in attracting signatories from across a variety of sectors including engineering, retail and accountancy with our biggest signing to date being the Ministry of Defence.

Now with nearly 75 members, not only are the employers involved in the 5% Club campaign responsible for over 270,000 employees, but they have become a support network for businesses keen to provide opportunities for the next generation. Many 5% Club members met in Responsible Business Week to share best practice and discuss topics that challenge them.

Eighteen months after the campaign was launched, it is continuing to focus on encouraging other businesses to join. So for businesses reflecting on their responsibility to society and the UK’s economy in Responsible Business Week, please think about how you can invest in the next generation, not only to safeguard the future of thousands of young people but the future of the UK as well.

For more information about the free membership campaign and how to become a member, please get in touch by emailing contactus@5percentclub.org.uk. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


National Physical Laboratory- Advanced Apprenticeships – now hiring!


On Thursday 12th march, the 1st intake of our member NPL’s Junior Scientist Apprenticeship scheme, graduated from the programme.

A graduation event was held at the Royal Society. The families of the Apprentices, Business Leaders and Supervisors were invited to mark this special occasion.

The event, held in National Apprenticeship week, was attended by Harminder Mathru from the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) to congratulate the Apprentices on their achievement and promote the value of Apprentices.

IMG_1334All 8 Apprentices completed the scheme and were awarded Level 3, Applied Laboratory Technician BTEC and NVQ, they also gained their RSiTech accreditation from the Royal Society of Chemistry. In addition, all 8 Apprentices have been offered positions within NPL as Assistant Research Scientists.

Congratulations to Sam Alvey-Taylor, Nicole Anstey, Kieran Edmonds, Joshua Frank, Anthony Jenkins, Emma-Rose O’Reilly, Tierney Perez-Drummy and Warda Heetun for all their hard work and passing with flying colours.

In 2015, NPL will be branching out the Apprentice Scheme to include Business Administration, Human Resources, Engineering and further Junior Science Apprentices. For further details go to: http://www.npl.co.uk/careers/advanced-apprenticeship/

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 emailingcontactus@5percentclub.org.uk.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as well!

XEIAD and The 5% Club


A few weeks ago, XEIAD joined The 5% Club. Formerly known as Bridgezone Limited, XEIAD is a civil engineering consultancy specialising in difficult access. XEIAD engineers have extensive experience in rope access, diving and confined spaces. XEIAD’S staff have
XEIAD3unique experience inspecting structures such as bridges, culverts, retaining walls, tunnels
and shafts working across a wide range of industry sectors. The company also helps asset owners and managers keep critical infrastructure safe, reduce risk and maintenance costs as well as extend asset life.

As part of their commitment to creating opportunities for young people, XEIAD have committed to the pledge that 5% of their workforce will be apprentices, graduates or sponsored students within a five year time frame.

Ben Tancock from Tiverton, Devon joined XEIAD in 2014 as an Assistant Engineer on a year long industrial placement. Since joining the company Ben has worked on various BEN TANCOCK XEIAD
projects including bridge inspections, topographical surveys and in particular, on the Bedford to Kettering railway improvement scheme. During this project Ben has utilised skills gained at University to make meaningful contributions as well as being given the opportunity to supervise certain works such as trial pit excavations and levelling surveys.

Ben said, “I was attracted to XEIAD due to the varied nature of the work and the
guarantee that I wouldn’t be entirely office based. Because of the attention and training XEIAD have given me, I feel more than ready to return to University in September.”

To find out more about XEIAD and the opportunities they offer, please visit their website: www.xeiad.com


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 contactus@5percentclub.org.uk.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as well!