Apprenticeship campaign ends with more than 1,000 pledges

Posted by lepadmin - December 16, 2013 - Newsroom, 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.

A campaign aimed at generating interest among employers in Greater Birmingham in accessing apprenticeship grants has finished with more than 1,000 pledges by businesses made in just over three months.

The campaign was launched by the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership back in August, working alongside local authorities, Sector Skills Councils, training providers, colleges and schools.

The objective was to make businesses aware of the opportunities for employers to take on 16-24 year olds as apprentices with grants worth £1,500, which could be enhanced further in some cases.

During the 100 days of the campaign, a total of 1,002 employers pledged to take on apprentices, narrowly beating the target of 1,000.

Alan Volkaerts, GBSLEP Board Director with responsibility for employment and skills, said: “Youth unemployment is a particularly big challenge for Greater Birmingham and AGE grants are an excellent way of getting companies to take on young people, develop their workforce and grow their business.

“But it was vital that employers knew what was available to them and, thanks to the efforts of everybody involved in the campaign, we have been able to hit the target we set in terms of the number of pledges we wanted to secure.

“While the normal process means some of these apprenticeships won’t be starting until early next year, we expect to make a significant impact on the number of young people going into apprenticeships.

“There are still AGEs available for employers and I would urge any company planning ahead for next year to contact the National Apprenticeship Service on 0800 0 150 600 and see what is available.”

In July this year, the GBSLEP launched the Skills for Growth Action Plan which sets out how Greater Birmingham aims to reduce youth unemployment to the Core City LEP average by 2020 and below that by 2025, in addition to recruiting 1,000 additional apprentices in priority sectors.