QinetiQ, along with a group of other leading UK companies, has just launched a major campaign urging industry to adopt a new 5% target for graduates, apprentices and sponsored students in their organisations. Companies joining The 5% Club will sign a charter to work towards having 5% of their UK workforce, over the next five years, comprising young people on structured training schemes. Having spearheaded the initiative, we at QinetiQ aim to reach the 5% target by 2015.
Other companies and organisations already committed and signed up as founding members include Babcock International, the UK arm of EADS, MBDA, and Renishaw. The campaign is also endorsed and supported by the CBI and Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.
With almost a million unemployed 16-24 year-olds, and only one in ten school leavers joining an apprentice scheme, the campaign aims to address the twin scarcities of youth training opportunities and national skills. Members will acknowledge that industry must do more to solve the skills shortage and not rely solely on the government to provide solutions.
Members of The 5% Club will publicly report progress on the 5% target in the Corporate Social Responsibility section of their Annual Report and Accounts or equivalent. Our CEO, Leo Quinn, says: “Developing our young people is both a business and social imperative for industry – skills enhancement leads to innovation, innovation leads to growth, growth to prosperity.
To help meet this challenge we urge UK industry to join with us in this unique, but achievable, campaign.”
The 5% Club charter pledges members to:
- Play a part in addressing youth employment and skills shortage issues
- Pledge to work toward having a minimum 5% of their UK workforce enrolled on formalised apprentice, sponsored student and/or graduate development schemes within five years
- Report publicly every year on the above as a CSR metric in its Annual Report and Accounts or equivalent
- Be an ambassador of The 5% Club and encourage other businesses to participate in the campaign.