National Apprenticeship Week is the perfect time to highlight our continual drive to retain talent within Birmingham.
We want to strengthen our local economy by ensuring we have the right training and learning opportunities available for anyone who needs it.
And the city council will become a leading example to businesses across the region of how to develop apprenticeships. Our apprenticeship strategy will aim to increase the number of apprentices at the city council whilst using the apprenticeship framework to reward existing staff through development opportunities.
It will target hard to reach wards where youth unemployment in particular is at its highest, providing meaningful apprenticeship opportunities that will support people to secure permanent employment.
But of course it is not just about skills for Birmingham City Council, but also about the future of skills for the city; we are working on behalf of the city as a whole.
So where we lead we want others to follow. Apprenticeships are a great way to tackle unemployment and to set out a clear career pathway for young people. They also help develop the skills needed to create a successful city.
Skills level in the city region will have a major impact not just on future economic growth but on ensuring we pursue inclusive growth that reaches out to all citizens in all parts of our city, leaving nobody behind.
This is why the city council has developed its ‘Step Forward: Upskilling for Life’ strategy. Working in partnership with the public, private and third sectors, we will be campaigning directly with employers to encourage upskilling of the workforce, co-ordinating support and guidance so people can choose the right qualifications for the career path they want to take.
Apprenticeships form a vital part of this and the city’s clear commitment to this priority is evident in the supporters and sponsors at the national apprenticeship event – improving the skills and career chances of our young people is something the whole city needs to support.
So there is a lot going on and the message is clear – apprenticeships can take you anywhere.
National Apprenticeship Events takes place at the ICC on Wednesday 8 March: http://www.nationalapprenticeshipevents.co.uk/