The ‘5 Cities Project’, launched by the Department for Education in Manchester on Thursday, February 1, will see the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) work with partners in Greater Manchester, London, Bristol, Birmingham and Leicester to promote the take-up of apprenticeships among under-represented groups, including BAME and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The Department for Education are transforming the skills landscape to ensure that there are high quality apprenticeship opportunities for millions of people, of all ages and backgrounds.
Andy Burnham said: “We want Greater Manchester to be known for its fairness, equality and inclusion – a place where that everyone can get on in life and get into work, whatever your circumstances, background or aspirations. That’s why I’m proud that Greater Manchester is part of a pilot that’s going to celebrate the diversity of our city-region.
“We’ve already had initial discussions with employers – including some national household names – who are committed to working together to make sure that our workforces are more representative of the communities we serve. Those employers and communities will be a crucial part of shaping how the pilot will work in Greater Manchester, and we’re looking forward to getting started.”
Since May 2015, there have been over 1.2 million apprenticeships start, with the overall commitment by the Department for Education to reach over 3 million apprenticeships in England by 2020. The total investment in apprenticeships in England will be £2.45 billion by 2019/2020 – this is double what was spent between 2010 and 2011.
Councillor Sean Anstee, Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s lead for Skills, Employment and Apprenticeship, said: “Greater Manchester’s Apprenticeship Strategy has identified promoting diversity as a priority so this is the perfect opportunity to turn the spotlight on this area. With opportunities all the way up to degree and post-graduate level, apprenticeships are a great way to develop your career, whether you’re just starting out or looking to step up to the next level.
“As a former apprentice myself, I’ve seen first-hand how an apprenticeship can help you get ahead whatever your background, so it’s really important to me that we understand why people from BAME backgrounds are less likely to be in an apprenticeship and look at what we need to do to level the playing field.”