The need to create more jobs for younger people in skilled sectors such as engineering has been a long-standing issue in the UK economy.

Even in times of high employment, the country had suffered a disproportionate issue with getting 16-24 year-olds into jobs and careers in certain sectors which desperately needed new talent.

It was a challenge being seen first-hand by our client QinetiQ – the security and defence company which legend has it inspired Q Branch in James Bond – and its CEO Leo Quinn. Mr Quinn wished to launch a campaign which would address these concerns.

Working with QinetiQ, we launched the The 5% Club – an award-winning campaign addressing the youth skills shortage.

Following research into the task ahead, ourselves and QinetiQ launched The 5% Club – a campaign which would recruit member companies across the board in British industry to join as one in tackling the youth skills crisis.

The 5% Club would strive to change the approach to youth employment and skills by doing two key things: first, the onus would be put on industry to create demand for youth skills; secondly, companies would publicly report on a pledge that within 5 years, 5% of its workforce would be apprentices or graduates aged 16-254.

It was a call-to-action for industry to “Invest in a Generation” and add to its annual reporting its commitment to youth skills.

Five other companies and organisations, including Airbus, the MoD and Balfour Beatty, joined QinetiQ as the founders of the 5% Club.

Following an intensive prep stage which included branding, website construction and messaging sessions, we were tasked with launching the project. At launch, we achieved compelling coverage with BBC Breakfast and the Financial Times, which carried a letter co-signed by the Founding CEOs. Further coverage followed in the Times, Telegraph, Scotsman and others.

Throughout the campaign, our strategy to recruit further member companies was to turn us into the growing organisation’s press engine room and provide regular TV and press coverage opportunities for The 5% Club and its members. We did so with news-jacking tactics, positioning members as thought leaders through the writing and publication of agenda-setting Op Eds and letters to editors, publicising key sign ups and milestone membership numbers, and using results days for listed member companies to speak about the 5% Club. We also commissioned YouGov research into attitudes towards apprenticeships which was exclusively published in the Daily Telegraph.

A project which started with six founding companies reached more than 140 members and an audience of 32 million people within 18 months.


B2B Marketing Award for Best PR Campaign of the Year


people reached


companies signed to The 5% Club


members active today

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