Press Release

Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty Group Chief Executive, calls for reform in the UK apprenticeship system

15 February 2019


Balfour Beatty Group Chief Executive, Leo Quinn, discusses how the current apprenticeship system must urgently change in order to avoid damaging Britain’s future, in an exclusive with The Telegraph.

With Government targeting three million new apprenticeship starts by 2020, the country must radically change its approach to apprenticeships if it is to bridge the significant skills shortage it is currently facing.

The priority must not only be to fix the Apprenticeship Levy to ensure it delivers a highly skilled workforce and increase British productivity, but to raise awareness of the benefits of apprenticeships amongst SMEs and explore the opportunity of shared apprenticeship rotations across several participating companies.

While fixing the apprenticeship levy is clearly of importance, a significant educational piece is required to change attitudes and eliminate the prejudice that currently prevents matching best talent with opportunity.

Founded by Leo Quinn in 2013, The 5% Club is a UK employer-led initiative focused on creating momentum behind the recruitment of apprentices and graduates into the workforce, and is leading the way in addressing these challenges and reforming the system to make apprenticeships the engine for future prosperity.

To read the article in full, please click here.


Media enquiries to:
Vivienne Dunn
Balfour Beatty
+44 (0)207 963 2150 | follow us @balfourbeatty

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Notes to editors:

  • Balfour Beatty ( is a leading international infrastructure group. With 28,000 employees, we provide innovative and efficient infrastructure that underpins our daily lives, supports communities and enables economic growth. We finance, develop, build and maintain complex infrastructure such as transportation, power and utility systems, social and commercial buildings.
  • Our main geographies are the UK & Ireland, US and Far East. Over the last 100 years we have created iconic buildings and infrastructure all over the world including the London Olympics’ Aquatic Centre, Hong Kong’s first Zero Carbon building, the National Museum of the Marine Corps in the US and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.
  • Balfour Beatty is a member of ‘The 5% Club’, a UK employer-led initiative focused on creating momentum behind the recruitment of apprentices and graduates into the workforce. Chief Executive Leo Quinn was the founding member of The 5% Club. Balfour Beatty joined in December 2013, the first company in the infrastructure industry to join.
  • The 5% Club works with UK employers and key influencers to inspire, educate and retain a growing body of people into “earn and learn” placements in order to increase the number of apprentices, sponsored students and graduates. The goal of The 5% Club is to increase the employment and career prospects of today’s youth and equip the UK with the skilled workforce it needs to safeguard Britain’s economy.

Vivienne Dunn

Senior Media & PR Manager