Balfour Beatty group chief executive Leo Quinn has launched the Founder’s Pledge, which will help to support and develop young people who are undertaking an apprenticeship
The announcement marks the 10th anniversary of The 5% Club which Quinn founded to encourage businesses to tackle two linked problems: the UK’s national skills shortage, and the resulting poverty trap for the unskilled.
The 5% Club is now a registered charity, with over 800 members across different sectors who collectively employ over 1.6 million people in the UK.
The Founder’s Pledge will see Quinn personally provide £10,000 to support 10 apprentices across Balfour Beatty and its supply chain partners. This will include one apprentice who is currently working at the company, and nine from its supply chain partners.
In addition, Balfour Beatty’s chosen apprentice will be mentored by Quinn, while business leaders of the chosen supply chain partners will mentor their nominated apprentice for one year.
Nearly half of apprentices in the UK fail to complete their training due to lack of wellbeing and financial support. The Founder’s Pledge looks to address this by providing the support young people need to successfully complete their training and embark on a long-term and fulfilling career.
Balfour Beatty’s Quinn said: “Supporting our apprentices – our future leaders – is critical, particularly in the challenging economic climate when many young people face an uncertain future.
“It has, therefore, never been more important for business leaders across the UK to step up, take charge and continue developing our talent. I hope that today’s pledge will make each of us stop and think about how we can give something back, and secure the skills and capability required across every sector.”
In addition, Quinn is asking the member CEOs of The 5% Club to make their own pledge, urging them to offer their mentoring skills and support to apprentices.