Efficiency North (EN) 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 Group Group 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.
EN joined The 5% Club to learn from other members. With well over 5% of employees already apprentices employed by subsidiary EN:Able Futures, EN also sees the initiative as an avenue to influence other employers, attract talent to the sector and nurture its future leaders.
The consortium’s vision is to be a catalyst for driving sustainable socio-economic change in social housing landlord members’ communities, using procurement frameworks to channel employment and training opportunities and remove barriers to social mobility for tenants and residents. All savings and surplus are ring-fenced for employment, training and community investment, targeted primarily at priority disadvantaged groups.
In 2017 EN established social enterprise EN:Able Futures CIC (ENF). Already providing an industry-leading Shared Apprenticeship Service and individual pastoral support for apprentices, ENF established the Housing and Infrastructure Academy to deliver technical apprenticeships in housing and construction, and now also resources the management and delivery of Efficiency North’s Social Value Strategy.
Lee Parkinson, Chief Executive of Efficiency North, commented, “I started my career as an apprentice and I know the valuable benefits and accelerated career advancement high quality apprenticeships can offer. In these extraordinary times it is essential that we do all that we can to create opportunities for young people and I look forward to working with The 5% Club to encourage an increase in apprentice recruitment, sharing our experience and knowledge of the many benefits of employing apprentices. These are not only for the young people given an entry route to careers and the employers whose future workforce gaps they fill, but also to support social mobility for their communities.”
Gill Cronin, Director of Operations of The 5% Club said, “We’re delighted to welcome Efficiency North 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.”
ENF established 2 additional projects to deliver more opportunities in 2019, with national government funding.
The Humber Construction Hub (HCH) on site construction learning centre in Hull, also funded by Hull City Council, Humber LEP and Hull Citywide Partnership, opened in October 2019 and hit all its Phase One targets by April 2020, with 767 learners now employment and site ready.
The Construction Skills 4 Life (CS4L) project aims to increase diversity and remove barriers to careers in construction in West Yorkshire. The first course for unemployed and disengaged NEET’s, delivered in partnership with CEG/IConsult, gave construction training on site and in the classroom, plus work experience and support into employment.25% of the 125 young people EN:Able Futures initially engaged with were female. 16 completed the course.To date 9 of these have entered employment.