Tops Day Nurseries and Aspire Training Team commit to ‘earn and learn’ by joining the 5% Club

Tops Day Nurseries and Aspire Training Team, a training provider, specialising in the early years sector, has showcased its commitment to developing its people by joining The 5% Club

The 5% Club is an industry led initiative focussed on driving momentum into the recruitment of apprentices, graduates and sponsored students.

The 5% Club, initiated by Leo Quinn Group chief executive of Balfour Beatty in 2013, is a movement of more than 700 employers providing ‘earn and learn’ opportunities to develop the skills and talents people need to become more employable and create meaningful careers. Companies joining The 5% Club commit to raising the number of apprentices, sponsored students and graduates on formal programmes to 5% of their total workforce within five years. Members are also asked to publicly report their progress in their Annual Report. Existing members range from SMEs to FTSEs and cover a number of diverse industries, from engineering through to the legal sector.

Tops Day nurseries and Aspire Training Team wanted to join the 5% club to show their dedication to training employees and supporting career progression throughout the company.

Tops and Aspire already exceed the charter promise to dedicate 5% of its employees’ numbers to earn and learn positions. In 2022 Tops totalled 20% of its workforce in these roles and Aspire has nearly achieved 10%, Including, 8 individuals working towards graduate programmes to include 5 colleagues working towards Level 6, 1 working towards QTS, 1 working towards Level 7 and 1 working towards Level 8.

Gill Cronin, director of operations of The 5% Club said: “We’re delighted to welcome Tops Day Nurseries and Aspire Training Team into membership. The 5% Club provides a fantastic network of HR professionals, sharing and learning from each other.  All our members share an ethos of creating a skilled workforce through ‘earn and learn’ development programmes, helping people develop meaningful career paths.

Tops Day Nurseries have approximately 700 employees and recruit around 100 apprentices per year, through Aspire Training Team, making up 15% of their workforce. Furthermore, due to Aspire’s successful apprenticeship programme and the extreme support they provide their apprentices, over 80% of them are retained. As well as new recruited apprentices, Tops and Aspire also adopt a ‘Grow your own’ attitude and recognise the value of promoting succession from within the business, as a result, Tops focus on upskilling their current staff by offering them a variety of apprenticeships like their Team Leading Apprenticeship, which will enable employees to progress within their role at Tops.

One of Tops and Aspires focus is to ensure that there are plenty of opportunities for young people. One way they do this is by offering Level 1 courses as they recognise that some young people aren’t ready to commit to a full apprenticeship. Similarly, young learners may just be looking into what a career in childcare looks like before they take it on full time, so a Level 1 is a great way to get an understanding of childcare.

Amy Alderson, director of early years audit and training at Tops said: “I am responsible for developing and managing a responsive, outstanding quality programme of training that addresses the training needs of the business. I make it my top priority to advocate for staff training and development. Joining the 5% club demonstrates our commitment as a business to supporting and promoting career progression. We do this through providing high quality, impactful training to our workforce and by providing a range of traineeship programmes in or to ensure that careers and succession are supported effectively”.

Join our mailing list

Stay up to date with all our events, awards and publications.

Information you provide us with will be kept private at all times, and will be used for communication and research purpose only.