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New research and kitemark for socially responsible skills investment

The 5% Club (@5PercentClubUK) is launching a new research and #Kitemark recognition programme on 14 June 2021 and has invited 1600 Employers to participate.

The novel Employer Audit is a fresh approach that will for the first time take a comprehensive look across the totality of “earn and learn” schemes within an organisation, providing insightful feedback to participating employers and vital benchmarking against similar organisations (by size and sector) as well as drawing comparisons with national trends.

The programme has been developed as part of a Joint Venture between The 5% Club and High Fliers Research, who have over 25 years’ experience in researching the graduate and apprenticeship market and will be open to entries until the end of July.

The 5% Club is a dynamic movement of over 550 employers that are committed to recruiting and training graduates, apprentices and other ‘earn & learn’ employees, building and developing the workforce they need, as part of a socially mobile, prosperous and cohesive nation. A UK-wide charity, The 5% Club exists to help its members increase further the number, quality and range of ‘earn & learn’ opportunities across the country.

The Employer Audit has been designed to support and validate employers as they work to provide an increased volume of inclusive ’earn & learn’ workplace training programmes through a novel 3-stage process, comprising:

  • The Research. Open to entries from 14 June – 31 July, this phase asks participants to complete a simple yet comprehensive questionnaire covering their earn & learn schemes, their future plans and their approach to inclusion, social mobility and programme quality. Entries will be verified by High Fliers, through desk research and a follow-up telephone call from a dedicated researcher. The process has been specifically designed to be simple and comprehensive, and without imposing an onerous administrative loading upon participants.
  • The Confidential Research Report. A bespoke report will be produced for each participant analysing their organisation’s employment and recruitment of graduates, apprentices and other ‘earn & learn’ employees – benchmarked with other employers in their industry or business sector, and across the wider participation in the audit and membership of The 5% Club.
  • The Symposium. The outcomes of the Research will be explored further at The 5% Club Annual Employer Symposium, to be held in London on 4th November 2021, which will present key findings and provide an opportunity for review and discussion with Industry and Government Subject Matter Experts.
  • Bronze, Silver & Gold Awards. Official accreditation as Bronze, Silver or Gold members will be awarded to employers based on their validated performance against the 5% target – Gold for those who achieve or exceed 5%, silver will be for those that are halfway to 5%, and bronze will be awarded to employers at the early stages of their journey to the 5% target

Gillian Keegan100x100Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships, Gillian Keegan MP said:

“I am a strong advocate of The 5% Club and the way they continue to inspire positive employer action for apprenticeships and ‘earning whilst learning’ routes.

“This new initiative – which will recognise those employers who truly invest in and lead the skills agenda – will do much to further our Plan for Jobs and help Build Back Better after COVID-19”.


Mark Cameron OBE, CEO of The 5% Club said: 

“The 5% Club inspires employers to be at the forefront of a Skills Revolution and encourages them to increase the number of inclusive workplace learning opportunities they offer.

“The “Employer Audit” measures and validates employer commitment, and will provide important recognition for those socially responsible employers who continue to invest in a generation.

“We hope this approach and the continued investment in future skills will be seen as a prized and highly valued measure of social responsibility”.

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