February 29, 2024

Inspired Employer Action recognised – The 5% Club Awards 180 new enhanced Memberships

During the recent Annual Employer Audit Symposium broadcast from London (9th November 2023), The 5% Club awarded 180 enhanced Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum Memberships, in recognition of the commitment and measured inspired action of those members completing the 2023 Employer Audit. Over two hundred and fifty attended the online event, which included research insights and interviews with participants, and leading thought leaders.

During the online event, participating employers from a membership of over 930 Companies were awarded their Bronze, Silver, Gold and for the first time Platinum Memberships for 2023/24.

  • 31 Members were awarded Platinum Membership
  • 119 Members were awarded Gold Membership
  • 22 Members were awarded Silver Membership
  • 8 Members were awarded Bronze Membership

Key insights from the Research included:

Large Employers

  • 114 employers with 250 employees or more took part in the Employer Audit.
  • Their combined workforce is 787,190 employees, of whom 60,873 are in ‘earn and learn’ roles.
  • At 88 employers, at least 5% of the workforce are ‘earn and learn’ employees.
  • These employers have 47,634 apprentices, 9,930 graduates and 1,284 degree-placement students.
  • 77% of apprentices are male, 12% are BAME, 68% are under the age of 25, and 12% are from low-income families.
  • 65% of graduates are male, 25% are BAME, 60% are under the age of 25 and 11%are from low-income families.
  • On average, 85% of apprentices successfully complete their apprenticeships and 89% of graduates finish their graduate programmes
  • ‘Earn and learn’ recruitment is expected to increase in 2023-2024, with a 10% rise in apprenticeships likely.

SME Employers

  • 66 SME employers with fewer than 250 employees took part in the Employer Audit.
  • Their combined workforce of 7,947 employees includes 1,170 who are in ‘earn and learn’ roles
  • At 62 employers, at least 5% of staff are ‘earn and learn’ employees.
  • Diversity continues to be a challenge for SME employers as 90% of apprentices and 75% of graduates are male, and fewer than 1 in 10 ‘earn and learn’ employees are BAME apprentices or graduates.
  • Apprentices and graduates have very high completion rates for their ‘earn and learn’ programmes.
  • ‘Earn and learn’ recruitment is expected to grow at SMEs in 2023-2024.

Membership of The 5% Club remains free, and this exciting scheme is easily accessed, offered at a marginal cost, and takes minimal time to complete. The Symposium today will be followed up by comprehensive reports individualised for each participating employer, all of whom have also been invited to a Celebration Reception at the Mansion House, London on 29th November; this likely to include attendance from Rt Hon Gillian Keegan MP, Secretary of State for Education, and Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education. During this reception, the UK National Employer “Earn & Learn” Awards will be made.

Mark Cameron OBE, Chief Executive at The 5% Club, who co-hosted the event said, “Now in its third year, we are delighted with the adoption and growth of this accessible scheme, by our Members and the wider employer community. This is mirrored in the growth of The 5% Club, which has nearly doubled in size since 2020, with a membership rapidly approaching one thousand employers. The outcome of this research will be used to shape our campaigning and forward events programme, as we seek to collectively learn from the insights, and ensure the Skills System across the UK is tuned to the needs of Employers. We also celebrate the achievement of all those awarded enhanced memberships, including the thirty-one who have met the Gold Standard since we launched the scheme in 2021, and who this year have more than 10% of their workforce in recognised “earn and learn” schemes.” 

He concluded, “It’s inspired action such as this which is so essential to our national prosperity and the enduring resolution of the skills challenges.”  

Gill Cronin, Director of Operations at The 5% Club and event co-host added: “Having seen The Club grow to more than 920 members, I am always impressed at the commitment, drive, and energy our members channel into offering “earn and learn” skills opportunities. This scheme bestows important recognition on these companies and truly recognises the breadth and depth of their contribution to the future of skills in our economy.”

More information about the Employer Audit Scheme and the Earn and Learn Awards is available on The 5% Club website, www.5percentclub.org.uk.

A full list of the companies awarded enhanced Membership for 2023-24 is available here