Announced today as part of National Apprenticeship Week, WSP, the engineering and professional services consultancy, has become a patron of The 5% Club which aspires to have 5% of UK workforce in ‘earn and learn’ positions within five years.

Apprentice photos 2019 

Members and patrons of The 5% Club aspire to have five per cent of their UK workforce in ‘earn and learn’ positions within five years, including apprentices, sponsored students and graduates on formalised training schemes.

WSP currently has 375 apprentices, scholarship students and undergraduates across the UK, with 647 graduates employed across a three-year scheme, which equates to around 12% of its workforce in ‘earn and learn’ positions.

In joining, WSP is committing to further support STEM initiatives and joins other members and patrons in supporting economic growth, encouraging diversity and inclusion, increasing social mobility and alleviating poverty across the country.

In its September 2019 intake, WSP recruited 69 apprentices and 202 graduates, with the female intake being 44% and 40% respectively.

Mark Naysmith, CEO of WSP UK and South Africa, said: WSP puts huge value in ensuring that the next generation of engineers, planners and specialists have the skills to provide our clients with solutions to tomorrow’s problems. Much has changed within the industry since I joined WSP as a graduate engineer and it will only continue to evolve, making support for STEM initiatives crucially important.

“We’re pleased to already have 12% of our workforce in the UK in ‘earn and learn’ positions, providing many young people the opportunity to experience first-hand how rewarding a career in engineering can be. Through being part of The 5% Club, WSP is delighted to be furthering its support for STEM initiatives across the UK and ensuring tomorrow’s engineers are playing their role in applying future ready solutions to some of the UK’s most significant projects.”

Leo Quinn, Founder of The 5% Club and Group Chief Executive of Balfour Beatty plc, said: “We are excited to welcome WSP UK as our first new patron of 2020. It is great to see a global engineering firm of nearly 50,000 employees, built on forward-looking professional expertise, stepping forward to support The 5% Club.

“I look forward to working with them to drive the crucial agenda of “earn and learn” in this country – upskilling our national workforce for the future and offering life-changing career opportunities. Our goal in The 5% Club of widening further education to alleviate poverty and create a cohesive and prosperous society is made possible by the generous support of our patrons.”

WSP’s award-winning, bespoke apprentice and undergraduate development programme is mapped to the knowledge, skills and behaviours set out in the apprenticeship standards, and the firm partners with ten universities to deliver its degree apprenticeships, including Kingston University, Warwick University and Exeter University

WSP has been involved in the development of eight apprenticeship ‘trailblazers’, most recently chairing the Environmental Practitioner degree apprenticeship which had its first cohort start in October.

The Club was founded by Balfour Beatty Group’s Chief Executive Leo Quinn in 2013 to address the issue of poverty arising from high youth unemployment and a shortage of the right skills for the workplace of today and tomorrow.

Other patrons of The 5% Club include Balfour Beatty, Kier Group, QinetiQ, Redrow PLC and Schneider Electric.




Dan Williams, UK PR Manager: / 07341 681 673                


WSP is one of the world's leading engineering professional services consulting firms. We are dedicated to our local communities and propelled by international brainpower.

 We are technical   experts   and   strategic   advisors   including   engineers, technicians, scientists, planners, surveyors and environmental specialists, as well as other design, program and construction management professionals. We design lasting solutions in the Property & Buildings, Transportation   &   Infrastructure, Environment, Industry, Resources (including Mining and Oil & Gas) and Power & Energy sectors as well as project delivery and strategic consulting services.

With more than 8,200 talented people in the UK and approximately 49,500 globally, we engineer projects that will help societies grow for lifetimes to come. WSP has been involved in many high-profile UK projects including the re-development of London Bridge Station and Quarter, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, HS2, Transport for the North Strategic Development Corridor studies, One Blackfriars and the Shard.



The 5% Club is a dynamic movement of employers committed to earn & learn as part of building and developing the workforce they need as part of a socially mobile, prosperous and cohesive nation. The Club exists to help its members and all employers increase further the number, quality and range of earn & learn opportunities across the UK.

The 5% Club consists of more than 400 businesses from 22 sectors of the economy. It includes large and small private and public sector employers. Almost half of its members are small and medium sized enterprises.

By joining The 5% Club, members aspire to reach 5% of their workforce in ‘earn and learn’ positions, including apprenticeships, sponsored student schemes and graduate training, within five years of joining.

The 5% Club is a charity and is free for businesses of all sizes and sectors to join. Find out more at