The 5% Club is delighted to announce the addition of four new members. Each company has pledged to play a part in addressing youth unemployment and skills shortages within the UK by adopting a 5% employment target for graduates, apprentices and sponsored students within their organisation.
The four companies to have signed up are:
· Vision Express– one of the UK’s largest high street opticians, with 4,000 workers across more than 325 stores.
· Pimlico Plumbers– the UK’s largest independent plumbing company.
· Tessella– the International provider of science powered technology and consulting services.
· Dale Power Solutions– a global leader in critical power supplies.
Vision Express has become the first retailer to sign up to the 5% Club.
Jonathan Lawson, Vision Express CEO, said: “We understand how vital it is to get fresh talent through our doors and in today’s competitive environment, getting that first break into the world of work has never been more important.
“We are elated to be the first retailer to pledge our commitment to this initiative. We look forward to being part of its future and are proud to formalise our commitment to growing and developing even greater numbers of young people within our business.”
Charlie Mullins, Managing Director and founder of Pimlico Plumbers, said: “This is the single most important issue facing our economy and society in general right now. If we don’t address the chronic skills shortages afflicting us we will in a few short decades become an economic backwater.
“I have made this point to the Prime Minister on numerous occasions, made submissions to a public enquiry, and written and spoken about the issue until I’m blue in the face.
“Slowly people’s mind-sets are beginning to change on the issue of apprenticeships, and there is no better way for businesses to assist this process than to lead by example by joining The 5% Club.”
Alan Gaby, Tessella’s Managing Director, said: “Helping provide opportunities for the next generation is, I feel, a responsibility of business leaders, but can also be a source of immense satisfaction. It is especially important and relevant in today’s economic environment and amid the really tough challenges facing our country’s young people.
I am proud that Tessella has joined The 5% Club and whole heartedly support its 5% target for graduates, apprentices and sponsored students in their organisations over a 5 year period.
I have had the good fortune to build a career in the UK technology industry over the past 30 years through training and education opportunities that companies offered and so I am convinced that The 5% Club strategy will be effective.
As a company operating in the UK, we are committed to this country’s growth agenda. Against this backdrop we are aware of the chronic skills shortage and youth unemployment that the UK faces and acknowledge the importance of developing our people as both a business and social imperative. We aim to play a role in transforming the fortunes of young, talented people in the UK and to ensure that the UK retains its reputation for innovation.”
Dale Power Solutions Chief Executive Tim Wilkins said: “Dale Power Solutions is proof that SME’s can make a significant contribution, work towards and meet the 5% Club Charter. We currently have 6.2% of our workforce in an apprenticeship or sponsored graduate education and by joining The 5% Club we are committed to maintaining a level of at least 5%.
“By signing up to the 5% Club we aim to encourage other organisations to do the same and help make a difference and give the nearly 1 million unemployed under 25’s in the UK a brighter future.”
Each of the four new members have agreed to publicly report progress on the 5% target in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) section of their Annual Report.