More than 70 new apprenticeship opportunities have been created across Greater Manchester after funding was awarded to projects helping to support underrepresented groups.
A total of £328,000 has been handed to seven local organisations to support them in attracting and recruiting new apprentices as part of the Removing Barriers scheme.
The projects range from placements that support young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) into digital apprenticeships; black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) residents into the engineering sector; and single parents into teaching assistant roles.
BAME Engineers is one of the projects to have received a grant to enable them to offer placements to a minimum of 20 learners. Learners on the programme gain accredited engineering skills and knowledge, as well as employability training with a learning mentor.
Mohammed Yusuf Khan, 16, is one of the apprentices currently on the programme and said he initially struggled to be shortlisted for an engineering placement. After being accepted onto the programme, he is now looking forward to learning the skills needed in order to help him progress into the engineering sector.
He said he believes the scheme is a good opportunity to break down barriers, as it helps support the local community progress into job roles they may not have had access to previously.
Mohammed added: “I’m looking forward to learning the practical skills I need in order to progress into my dream apprenticeship, following in my family’s footsteps and making them proud.”
Councillor Sean Fielding, Portfolio Lead for Digital, Education, Skills, Work and Apprenticeships said: “It is great that we have been able to award funding to so many amazing local organisations that work to remove barriers to apprenticeships in our city-region.
“Expanding apprenticeship opportunities will enable people to find full time work, while also giving them the necessary skills to develop their careers. Apprenticeship placements and job opportunities should be accessible to everyone in the city-region, regardless of their background, and it is hoped even more placements under the Removing Barriers scheme will be created for underrepresented groups as the programme continues.”