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 and learn” positions as part of building and developing their workforce.
In joining The 5% Club, members aspire to achieve 5% of their workforce in these 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 start of the firm’s 2022 early career professional intake this figure now stands at 10.9% - as of the end of October.
In total 322 graduates, apprentices and placement students joined the environmental and engineering professional services consultancy 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 its 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.”
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.”