Southampton City Council commits to ‘earn and learn’ by joining The 5% Club

The club provides opportunities for people to develop the skills needed to become more employable

Southampton City Council has showcased its commitment to developing its people by joining The 5% Club, an industry led initiative focussed on driving momentum into the recruitment of apprentices, graduates and sponsored students.

The 5% Club, initiated by Leo Quinn CEO of Balfour Beatty in 2013, is a movement of more than 300 employers providing ‘earn and learn’ opportunities to develop the skills and talents people need to become more employable and create meaningful careers. Companies joining The 5% Club commit to raising the number of apprentices, sponsored students and graduates on formal programmes to 5% of their total workforce within five years. Members are also asked to publicly report their progress in their Annual Report. Existing members range from SMEs to FTSEs and cover a number of diverse industries, from engineering through to the legal sector.

Southampton City Council recognises the benefit that growing the number of programmes that are available for apprentices, graduates and students helps to support people on their chosen career paths. Committing to joining The 5% Club incentivises the council to act on its commitment.

Supporting work based learning and career path planning also helps with employee retention, with staff feeling a sense of pride, allegiance and loyalty to an organisation that is clearly investing in their ongoing development.

As a local authority, we not only see the immediate benefits to our own organisation but also the future benefits for the city. We understand how providing these opportunities and supporting our local residents can help to shape and grow the city, helping local talent and businesses reach their full potential in the long-term.

The council strives to create opportunities for people to enter the world of work for the first time or to change career. We recognise that apprenticeships aren’t just for young people leaving school or college and so ensure our salaries and opportunities are suitable for a diverse range of job/apprenticeship hunters. By offering apprenticeships, internships and work experience throughout the year, we hope to tap in to the local talent pool and become an employer of choice within our community. By joining The 5% Club, we’re committing to expanding on this and to create even more opportunities to help build our workforce for the future and empower our local residents.

Chief Executive Officer at Southampton City Council, Sandy Hopkins, said: “As one of the largest employers in Southampton we need to ensure that we’re helping to lead the way when it comes to taking on apprentices and graduates, supporting them and growing business talent across the city.

“The 5% Club is a fantastic initiative which we’re proud to have committed to. In five years’ time, if not before, we hope to have reached our target.”

Lady Cobham, Director General of The 5% Club said, “We’re delighted to welcome Southampton City Council into membership. The 5% Club provides a fantastic network of HR professionals, sharing and learning from each other. All our members share an ethos of creating a skilled workforce through ‘earn and learn’ development programmes, helping people develop meaningful career paths.”