Stagecoach, the UK’s largest bus and coach operator, has today been awarded Silver membership with the 5% Club meaning they are now more than halfway to reaching the goal of 5% (currently 3.3%) of employees in ‘earn and learn’ positions.

The 5% Club is a UK-wide charity that aims to contribute to the alleviation of poverty through increased levels of employment. It works with UK employers to inspire, educate and retain a growing body of people into ‘earn and learn’ placements to increase the number of apprenticeships, sponsored students and graduate trainees.

A total of 790 Stagecoach employees are currently in ‘earn and learn’ positions, with the majority carrying out apprenticeships, from its total UK workforce of 24,000 employees. 

The number of employees in Stagecoach currently undergoing apprenticeships places them in the top five of the organisations participating in this year’s Employer Audit and means they the only transport operator to been awarded silver membership this year.

Stagecoach is committed to training and development and has recently launched their Sustainability Strategy which details its objective of having 40% females in leadership roles by 2026 and 25% of their workforce from ethnic minorities. Stagecoach’s commitment also includes offering more work placements for 16-24 year olds.

Stagecoach was also the first public transport organisation to offer a flagship driver apprenticeship scheme as well as an industry-leading engineering apprenticeship programme. It also offers a ‘Trade-up’ scheme, giving existing employees the opportunity to undertake an apprenticeship with the engineering team and are now hoping to develop this further by introducing human resources, IT and learning and development apprenticeships in future.

Tracey Smyth, Head of People Services & Talent at Stagecoach said: “We are delighted to have been awarded Silver Membership with the 5% club. This shows our commitment to developing our people when they join us and helps us to attract the best people from our local towns and cities.

“’Earn and Learn’ positions bring huge value to our business in terms of talent and diversity and Stagecoach has for many years been at the forefront of championing apprenticeships and graduates in our workplace. Not only is it important for developing a healthy talent pipeline, but we also ­find it’s a great way of being able to engage with our local communities and make sure that our workforce represents the people we serve.

“This year we also published our new sustainability strategy, where we set out clear actionable aims of targeting 40% of females in leadership roles by 2026 and increasing the numbers of employees from ethnic minorities to 25%.”