Leading environmental and engineering professional services consultancy WSP has been awarded Gold accredited membership by the 5% Club as part of its 2022-23 Employer Audit.
The 5% Club is a professional organisation which works with employers across the UK who are committed to ‘earn & learn’ positions as part of building and developing their workforce.
In joining The 5% Club, members aspire to achieve 5% of their workforce in ‘earn and learn’ positions – including apprentices, sponsored students and graduates on formalised training schemes – within five years of joining.
Following an audit in August, 9.5% of WSP’s workforce was shown to be in ‘earn and learn’ positions, and following the commencement of the firm’s 2022 early career professional intake this figure now stands at 10.9% (as of the end of October).
322 graduates, apprentices and placement students joined WSP in its 2022 intake in specialisms including Rail, Highways, Local Government and Ecology, and within the firm’s new Strategic Advisory business.
WSP introduced the first Level 4 Land Referencer degree apprenticeship into its intake in the UK this year, furthering its commitment to developing the employment opportunities for early career professionals and providing accessible workplace learning within the built and natural environment.
Five apprentices joined the business to study the Land Referencer apprenticeship this year and are based at WSP’s flagship Midlands HQ in Birmingham’s Mailbox.
WSP has supported The 5% Club since 2019, when it became a patron of the organisation, helping formulate their work with Government to improve professional training across the UK.
Mathieu du Plooy, Chief Operating Officer at WSP, said: “Our early career professionals will help drive WSP’s future growth and shape the innovative, sustainable solutions we are providing to clients. It’s important that careers in our industry are accessible and attractive as these new entrants will be instrumental to the future achievements of the UK’s workforce, and can make the most of the opportunities the built and natural environments present.”
Leanne Richards, Development Manager for Early Career Professionals at WSP, said: “From day one, our apprentices, graduates and placement students are able to learn first-hand from industry experts and contribute to projects that transform communities across the UK. We’re really proud to play a part in setting the industry’s future leaders up for success and breaking down the barriers to entry for early career professionals of all backgrounds.”
Mark Cameron OBE, Chief Executive of The 5% Club said: “Our Employer Audit scheme recognises the efforts of all those Employers who invest in their workforce through a broad range of workplace learning schemes. It is fantastic that in these challenging times so many are able to commit to the Employer Audit and to gain the credit for their efforts, and that the majority are striving to expand their schemes over the coming years. The efforts and achievements of WSP are to be applauded.”
Gill Cronin, Director of Operations of The 5% Club added: “Having seen The Club grow to more than 750 members, I am always impressed at the commitment, drive and energy our members channel into offering “earn and learn” skills opportunities. To now see so many of these members gain Bronze, Silver and Gold accredited membership of The Club is inspiring and demonstrates how these companies are all contributing to the future of skills in our economy.”