The 5% Club

Understanding their needs

Training and skills campaign group, The 5% Club, encourages companies to offer as many ‘earn and learn’ opportunities as possible. These are structured training programmes which give people the chance to work towards a qualification whilst being paid; such as apprenticeships, graduate training and sponsored student schemes.

The 5% Club was founded in 2013 by Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty’s Group Chief Executive, and now has more than 340 members across all sectors and size of businesses, all aspiring to reach 5% of their workforce in ‘earn and learn’ positions within five years of joining.

Thwaites Communications was asked to devise a strategic PR plan to help raise awareness of The 5% Club and increase the number of employer-members. The PR plan created by Thwaites set out to deliver a series of four ‘media moments,’ tailored to target business leaders, senior decision makers (e.g. HR Directors, HR Managers) and key stakeholders.

Unravelling their complexity

Each ‘media moment’ was designed to position membership of The 5% Club as a kitemark of responsibility for employers, as well as delivering key messages to encourage businesses to embed an ethos of ‘earn and learn’. Underpinning the ‘media moments,’ was a reactive and proactive press office, supporting The 5% Club to comment in the media on key issues around ‘earn and learn’ and dispel myths surrounding the value of apprenticeships.

“Thwaites has really helped us to refine and focus our messaging and the way in which we describe and define ourselves.  They have provided huge ‘added value’ to our work and generated great outputs, taking the pressure off our limited resources.”

Gill Cronin, Director of Operations, The 5% Club

Captivating their audience

To date, we have placed 36 pieces of targeted press coverage for The 5% Club, in titles such as The Daily Telegraph Business, Times Education Supplement, Personnel Today, People Management and Construction News. We have created PR stories from The 5% Club’s thought-leadership reports and conferences, covering high profile workplace issues such as diversity and inclusion, and social mobility, as well as celebrating The 5% Club’s 5th Birthday with a member survey looking at the future of work and the role of apprenticeships in addressing workforce challenges. Each PR story is supported by a strategic Twitter plan, with the development of messages and Twitter cards to grab audience attention.


Playing to our strengths

In addition, we continue to support The 5% Club to comment on timely, developing issues such as the Apprenticeship Levy and the value of students considering apprenticeships as an alternative to university at GCSE and A-Level results time. Opportunities set-up on behalf of The 5% Club to date have included blogs, op-eds and reactive quotes in target media.