Over a thousand new Apprenticeship pledges for Birmingham

By on 08/08/2013 in Leader, News

An ambitious campaign to stimulate over a 1,000 new Apprenticeship pledges in Birmingham in just 100 days has exceeded its target, boosting the city's

Cllr Sir Albert Bore

Cllr Sir Albert Bore

businesses and creating career opportunities for young people.

With just weeks to go until thousands of young people in Birmingham receive their GCSE and A Level results and make important decisions about their future, 1459 new career opportunities have been created by local employers who have pledged Apprenticeship vacancies thanks to a campaign by the National Apprenticeship Service, Birmingham City Council and other local partners.

The 1,000 in 100 Apprenticeship campaign launched in April this year to highlight the business benefits and support available for employers to recruit apprentices.

Apprenticeships are proven to help businesses grow by developing a motivated, skilled and highly qualified workforce.  In turn, they provide young people with the chance to earn and learn in a real job, gaining a real qualification and a real future. The enthusiasm shown by the Birmingham employers who have backed this campaign will not only help to tackle youth unemployment but will also help to boost the city's businesses.

This is the third time a campaign like this has been run in the city, but this year the target was set five times higher than previous campaigns.

Karen Woodward, Divisional Apprenticeships Director, Skills Funding Agency said: “This year we decided to be more ambitious than ever because there really has never been a better time to take on an apprentice. Apprenticeships are thriving with significant Government investment and there is currently financial assistance of up to £3,000 available to help Birmingham employers cover the costs of hiring an apprentice. Although this particular campaign has come to an end, this funding remains available. So there is still plenty of support for other employers to get involved.”

Employers including Radio XL and BCK Ltd have all pledged Apprenticeship vacancies. They were inspired by the campaign's work to showcase how apprentices had already helped other local businesses to develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.  The Apprenticeship career opportunities created as a result of the campaign are varied, from nursery officers, golf tour assistants, legal secretaries and medical receptionists to joiners, plumbers, vehicle mechanics and chefs.

Councillor Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Birmingham's businesses need to invest in jobs in order to achieve growth. The success of this campaign is a tremendous boost for the city and the wider regional economy. It will increase employment by providing young people with jobs that offer a real qualification and a real future, ultimately helping us to create a more highly skilled future workforce which will support business growth.”

Kate Canty, Chair, Birmingham Employment and Skills Board, added: “The Birmingham Employment and Skills Board was delighted to act as a catalyst in this campaign, bringing together the key training providers and agencies in the City.

“I thought we were setting an ambitious target of 1,000 Apprenticeships in only 100 days, but the employers of Birmingham have excelled themselves.  Now we want the young people in the city to take up these opportunities.”

The support of eleven leading FE Colleges and training providers was crucial to the campaign. They have already helped hundreds of local businesses to recruit and train apprentices and were able to highlight inspiring case studies which clearly demonstrated the business benefits of Apprenticeships.They are: South & City College Birmingham, HIT Training, Babcock International, Pera Training, Bournville College, Solihull College, The Apprenticeship Works, Lifetime Training, learndirect, Birmingham Metropolitan College and Kaplan Financial.

Karen Woodward concluded: “For a strong and growing economy we must have a high level of skills to meet employer demand, and Apprenticeships are a vital way of achieving this. We want Apprenticeships to become the new norm for ambitious young people and expanding businesses, the success of this campaign has taken us another step forward in achieving this.”

Once the Apprenticeship vacancies pledged have been finalised they will be advertised online through apprenticeships.org.uk

– Ends –

Notes to Editors
About the National Apprenticeship Service:
We enable our nation to generate a more highly skilled workforce. Through Apprenticeships, skills competitions and awards, which create opportunity, support development and showcase excellence.

Our endeavours enable us to:
- Transform the lives of our people.
- Stimulate growth and strengthen our economy.
- Instil pride in the skilled people of our nation.

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