GBSLEP sets target of 21,000 new apprenticeships for Greater Birmingham and Solihull

Posted by lepadmin - March 14, 2013 - Newsroom, People, Skills - No Comments
Alan Volkaerts, GBSLEP Board Director and Operations Director of Jaguar Land Rover.

Alan Volkaerts, GBSLEP Board Director and Operations Director of Jaguar Land Rover.

Plans to support the creation of 21,000 new apprenticeships across the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) area have been announced to mark National Apprenticeship Week.

Promoting and supporting apprenticeships among employers is a priority of the GBSLEP through the Employment and Skills Board (ESB).

Working with businesses across Greater Birmingham  and Solihull and National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), which delivers and funds apprenticeships, the GBSLEP aims to encourage more businesses to invest in the skills development of young people.

Over the last 12 months, companies in the GBSLEP have created over 19,000 apprenticeships with support from the NAS.

National Apprenticeship Week (March 11-15) celebrates the benefits of apprenticeships on individuals, businesses and the economy.

The LEP ambition is supported via Apprenticeship Grant for Employers, through which eligible businesses who employ a 16-24 year old apprentice receive a grant of £1,500.

Through the GBSLEP’s City Deal with government, over 3,500 grants have been ringfenced for Greater Birmingham, which will be taken up over the next 12 months.

Alan Volkaerts, GBSLEP Board Director with lead responsibility for skills and Operations Director at Jaguar Land Rover, said it was vital for employers to invested in people.

He said: “National Apprenticeship Week is the ideal time to set out our ambitions for the next 12 months and we have set lofty targets for ourselves and employers in the LEP.

“We are constantly told by employers that finding suitably skilled workers is the key challenge they face and need to be addressed.

“While the GBSLEP is working to align the needs of businesses with the activities of skills providers such as colleges and universities, it is ultimately the private sector that will overcome the skills challenge.

“We have seen significant success over the last year with more than 19,000 apprenticeships created.

“At Jaguar Land Rover we are playing our part, recruiting 300 apprentices over the last two years and with 150 more planned for next year.

“But it’s not all about the major employers, apprenticeships are playing a key role in the growth of hundreds of SMEs across the LEP as well.

“This year, we are setting the LEP’s sights even higher and aim to help businesses to create 21,000 apprenticeships.

“We will continue to do our part to encourage companies to take advantage of the incentives on offer from the National Apprenticeship Service while also leading on wider skills activity to deliver on the GBSLEP’s aims.”

To find out more about the benefits of apprenticeships and the grants available to businesses, visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk.