Building the future: Lynch Apprentice receives the coveted Founders Pledge award
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Building the future: Lynch Apprentice receives the coveted Founders Pledge award

By Sophie Holdrick

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‌Congratulations Harry Wooldridge, Apprentice Plant Operator, who has secured one of ten coveted Founders Pledge awards! Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty Group Chief Executive launched the Founder’s Pledge to commemorate the 10th anniversary of The 5% Club, which he founded in 2013 to tackle the UK’s suborn national skills shortage and the resulting poverty trap for the unskilled. Harry was commended for his passion and his can-do attitude, which shone through during the comprehensive application process.‌

Yesterday, Harry attended the reception hosted by The 5% Club, where Leo Quinn personally gifted £1,000. This will support Harry's training and address the troubling statistics that nearly half of Apprentices in the UK fail to complete their training due to a lack of well-being and financial support. Harry will now embark on a one-year mentoring programme with Merrill Lynch, Joint Managing Director, who will personally support his continued development, and help to nurture future talent in our industry.‌

Ten years after founding The 5% Club, to me it is vital that as business leaders we not only invest in skills but give our young people the support to help them become our talent and leadership for the future.

Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty Group Chief Executive

Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty Group Chief Executive said: “The passion and dedication shown by the selected Apprentices in their applications truly stood out amongst the impressive pool of nominations we received. I now look forward to hearing about some of the barriers these individuals face. Through The 5% Club – with its more than 900 members – we have built a powerful vehicle for sharing best practice and ensuring we continually improve the quality and accessibility of UK Apprenticeships for all.”

Merrill Lynch, Joint Managing Director, commented "Our apprentices exhibit outstanding enthusiasm and a genuine drive to excel as operators. It's my mission to nurture their growth and empower them to flourish amidst our incredible construction projects. We invested in shaping the operators of tomorrow."

Harry Wooldridge commented "Receiving the Founders Pledge Award is an unexpected yet incredible accomplishment. I'm excited to learn from Merrill, especially considering his hands-on experience and time spent on-site and operating plant machinery. I'm sure there is a wealth of knowledge, experience, and invaluable advice for me to draw on. This will set me up with skills for life, kickstarting my career in construction."

To find out more about The 5% Club, click here.

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