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Exeter commits to ‘earn and learn’ by joining The 5% Club

Exeter commits to ‘earn and learn’ by joining The 5% Club

The University of Exeter has strengthened its commitment to investing in, and developing, people by joining a pioneering national initiative, becoming a member of the 5% Club - an industry-led scheme designed to drive momentum in recruiting apprentices, graduates and sponsored students.

The scheme, the brainchild of the CEO of Balfour Beatty, Leo Quinn, promotes ‘earn and learn’ opportunities to develop the skills and talents people need to become more employable and create meaningful careers.

The University of Exeter will join around 300 other employers already committed to the innovative scheme.

Jonathan Cresswell, Learning, Development and Apprenticeship Manager at the University of Exeter said: “We are delighted to have joined this worthwhile and inventive national scheme.”

“The University is committed to developing the best talent and investing in building skills for the future, to enable apprentices to gain the valuable hands-on knowledge, skills, experience and qualifications needed to succeed in their chosen career path.”

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.

The University of Exeter are committed to developing the best talent and investing in building skills for the future.  Joining The 5% Club supports our “Attract, Perform, Retain” People Strategy, demonstrating our commitment to build a diverse and inclusive workforce by attracting talented staff, launching and building distinguished careers so people can fulfil their potential and ambitions.  Exeter is a great place to work.

We are integrating and growing apprenticeships at the University, giving people the opportunity to work for us and receive high-quality training from one of our approved training providers. 

Mike Blakeley (Exeter College Apprenticeships Director) said “The University of Exeter has developed an all-inclusive programme of development and support that exemplifies a companywide approach to Apprenticeship engagement.  Its investment and endeavour in its programmes has resulted in an outstanding provision for new and existing staff.  Innovation and feedback is at the heart of its ongoing development and the leadership of its provision ensures it stands out as a programme for others to follow”.

Embedding apprenticeships into our workforce planning ensures the long term success of our apprenticeships strategy, and provides a platform for effectively upskilling/training our existing workforce to help address skill gaps, and encourage continuous development. 

Our apprentices are employed across a diverse range of occupations (level 2 to 6) across Devon and Cornwall in agriculture, business and administration, catering and hospitality, childcare and education, construction, digital, health and science.

Jacqui Marshall, Deputy Registrar & Director of People Services & Global Partnerships, said “Our new holistic approach, aligned to our People Strategy, willboost workforce capability through ‘growing our own’ talent from a variety of entry routes - increasing social mobility, upskilling our current workforce, and could ultimately improve productivity and staff retention - securing a sustainable talent pipeline for the future.” 

Lady Cobham, Director General of The 5% Club said, “We’re delighted to welcome the University of Exeter 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.”

The University of Exeter currently has 64 apprentices (at levels 2 to 6) employed in 13 of our colleges/services, across 3 campuses, 2 counties!  They have 65 scheduled new apprenticeship starts between 1 Apr 18 and 31 Mar 19, which equates to 5.4% of all new starts across the university and is a 43% increase on last year’s apprentice numbers.


Date: 30 July 2018