Eastern Eye (UK)

Apprentice­ships scheme launched at 5% Club event


BUSINESS leaders attended the anniversar­y celebratio­n of the 5% Club at Westminste­r Abbey last Tuesday (21).

The organisati­on, which marked its 10th anniversar­y last week, works with businesses to help its members and employers increase the range of earn and learn opportunit­ies across the UK.

Robert Halfon, the minister for skills, apprentice­ships and higher education, said, “The club has grown from strength to strength by inspiring employers across the country to create more earn and learn job opportunit­ies, which enable people of all background­s to train, retrain and upskill.

“Such innovation is key to building a skilled workforce which meets the evolving demands of businesses, boosts our economy and drives growth.

“I am very proud the Department for Education is a member alongside other wonderful employers.”

The 5% Club founder, , who is also group chief executive of Balfour Beatty, announced a “Founder’s Pledge” scheme he is launching and funding personally within Balfour Beatty and its supply chain partners.

He said, “I have always believed apprentice­ships are critical in providing young people with the skills and capabiliti­es to enjoy lifelong and fulfilling careers. Yet, with one in three not completing their training because of a lack of mental and financial support, something needs to be done.

“I hope the pledge I have launched today – which will see me fund 10 apprentice­s across Balfour Beatty and our supply chain partners – will inspire others to follow suit and bridge the skills shortage we face across every industry and sector”.

Other guests at the event included Bridget Phillipson MP, shadow secretary for Education; and senior policy officials from the Department for Education.

John Cope, executive director of strategy, policy and public affairs at UCAS, partners for the 5% Club 10th anniversar­y year, said, “At UCAS, we know more than 50 per cent of those who set up their account with us are interested in doing an apprentice­ship. We’re thrilled to support the 5% Club on their 10th anniversar­y as we work to convert that interest in an apprentice­ship into reality.

“The new partnershi­p between UCAS and the government will see undergradu­ate degrees and apprentice­ships sit side-by-side for the first time this year. And it will also boost apprentice­ships and support our economy to grow.“

 ?? ?? PARTNERSHI­P PLEDGE: (From left) Leo Quinn, Robert Halfon and John Cope
PARTNERSHI­P PLEDGE: (From left) Leo Quinn, Robert Halfon and John Cope

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