The 5% Club – Earn and learn

The 5% Club is a skills training campaign group that encourages companies to commit to having 5% of their workforce in “earn and learn” positions. 

Hardstaff Barriers is proud to be one of the 350+ companies involved in the scheme that began operating in 2013. Having signed the 5% club charter, Hardstaff is now committed to developing the business and its people to further their professional skills and keep up annual progress reports on our apprentices and graduates.

Members of the 5% Club collectively employ more than one million people, 42,000 apprentices, 13,000 people on graduate programmes and 6,000 sponsored students.

By encouraging employers to offer fantastic “earn and learn” opportunities to young people, vital steps are being taken to tackle youth unemployment, skills shortages and lack of experience. The 5% Club’s foundation is based on the idea of investing in the next generation so that they can continue to grow and develop with the best opportunities available to them. 

Professional development at Hardstaff Barriers is extremely important. For example, our Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ) Apprentice, who has almost completed 18 months with us, has had her first experience in an office environment, obtained further qualifications by taking site health and safety exams thus attaining her CSCS card. She has joined site visits, run meetings, managed forums and developed her skills in countless ways. Hardstaff managers have been that impressed that a full-time job has been offered once the apprenticeship is complete. 

Rhiannon McGhee, Hardstaff Barriers’ SHEQ Apprentice, said: “Having never worked in an office environment, I was not sure whether I would fit in, I got over those doubts very quickly.” 

Earn and learn career paths are regarded exceptionally highly by potential employers and recruiters. It is a great way to beat the competition and get your foot through the door of industries, jobs and careers that sometimes can be difficult to start in. 

Rhiannon McGhee
Rhiannon McGhee – on the road to success

What are the benefits of being an apprentice? 

  • Earn while you learn
  • Receive recognised qualifications
  • Gain real work experience
  • Improve employability (Hardstaff’s most recent apprentice has been offered a full-time job with us
  • Learn practical skills to help pursue their chosen occupation and there’s holiday pay!

How can your company get involved in the 5% club?

Head over to the join section on the 5% clubs website: and follow the instructions.

“Having never worked in an office environment, I was not sure whether I would fit in, I got over those doubts very quickly.”
Rhiannon McGhee, Apprentice, Hardstaff Barriers