From education to employment

From Apprentice to CEO – new leader for The 5% Club

Mark Cameron

The skills campaigning charity, The 5% Club is pleased to announce it has appointed Mark Cameron OBE as CEO, who will take the helm from 6 April 2021.

Mark is a former Flag Ranked Royal Navy Officer who began his career as a technical “Artificer” apprentice aged just 16. Once his Apprenticeship was finished, he went on to complete a sponsored degree, graduate training scheme and executive MBA, making him a role model for the benefits of those earn-and-learn programmes so strongly advocated by The 5% Club and its 500+ member-employers across the UK.

In his final military post in the rank of Commodore, Mark was the Policy Head for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Training, Education, Skills, Recruiting & Resettlement, leading the talent development policy affecting 180,000 Armed Forces personnel. This included Britain’s largest complement of apprenticeships, as well as contributing to the strategic leadership of apprenticeships within the wider public sector/Cabinet Office and directly supporting the DfE/Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network. He also headed the MOD Enterprise Approach for collaboration on critical skills in the Defence Sector, introducing innovative measures to resolve shortages. Mark has been working with The 5% Club on a partly volunteer basis since August 2020, assisting with the reshaping of our Strategy and the development of ambitious plans for our future.

Leo Quinn, founder of The 5% Club and Group CEO at Balfour Beatty – where he himself started as a graduate trainee – said, “We set out to find a leader to help our members make the UK a beacon for top on-the-job training. Mark embodies all that The 5% Club embraces. His own story, his passion for social mobility, his deep operational understanding of deploying training and talent development to transform performance within the UK’s largest earn-and-learn employer, equip him uniquely to take The Club forward.”

Mark added: “I am honoured to lead The 5% Club at such a critical moment. During COVID19, it has redoubled campaigning for concerted Government action, both to prevent the economic brunt falling most heavily on the young, and to avoid worsening our national skills shortage. My mission is simple: Do everything possible to ensure employers offer ever more skills training – of the sort that changed my life – and that more and more young people have access to, and then take this career path to prosperous futures. The 5% Club provides our members with real-life best practice, a valuable network and a voice in the national skills debate. I look forward to working with them to make our society strong and successful.” 

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