One of the largest employers in the South West, Pennon Group, has achieved gold membership of The 5% Club in recognition of its strong commitment to supporting apprentices and graduates.

Receiving the award for the second year in a row, Pennon is the only business in the UK water sector to achieve Gold Standard, reflecting its outstanding work with apprenticeships and graduates, and in supporting their careers through Earn and Learn schemes.

Pennon recently announced plans to develop more than 1,000 people through apprenticeship and graduate schemes by 2030, along with offering 5,000 work placement opportunities over the same period.

Utilising the company’s experience in recruiting and training an emerging workforce of the future, Pennon plans to share the knowledge and expertise it has gained from delivering its own successful apprentice programmes to support its supply chain partners, enabling them to develop their own workforces.

Adele Barker, Pennon’s chief people officer, said: “At the heart of any good business are the people who work in it. 

“We have created a diverse and inclusive place to work and through membership of The 5% Club we are proud to be investing in the next generation of talent.”

By joining The 5% Club, members aspire to achieve five per cent of their workforce in earn and learn positions, including apprentices, sponsored students and graduates on formalised training schemes, within five years of joining.

Pennon Group currently has nearly 10 per cent of employees on development programmes with more than 350 apprenticeships and graduates.

Representing 950 organisations across the UK, all committed to providing ‘earn and learn’ opportunities for their workforce.

“The 5% Club exists to help its members and all employers increase further the number, quality and range of earn and learn opportunities across the UK.

For more information about The 5% Club, visit