Category: apprenticeships, BAME, London, Department for Education, DFE, Manchester, Leicester, Bristol
Apprenticeship diversity to be boosted by a new project
A new project launched by Apprenticeship and Skills Minister set to boost the presence of atypical apprenticeship groups.
Five key England cities have taken a pledge a partnership for working with the government for driving up apprenticeships of underrepresented communities. Steps will be taken to ensure that these are easily available to all individuals, irrespective of their backgrounds.
The Department for Education launched the ‘5 Cities Project’ today. It will witness the partnership of the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) with associates in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Leicester and Greater Manchester. The objectives at these places will be encouraging atypical groups to take up apprenticeships. It will focus on the BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) community and individuals from unprivileged backgrounds.
Some of the leading partners who are supporters of this move include - Rolls Royce, Optimity, B&Q, and Interserve. Certain local authorities including providers of apprenticeships, schools, community groups and Local Enterprise Partnerships, are also part of this drive.
Anne Milton, Apprentice and Skills Minister, expressed excitement regarding the support received for the project. She explained that the partnership is great for ensuring participation of people from all backgrounds, at their desired apprenticeship levels.
Apprenticeships can prove quite beneficial in gaining employment and enabled people to have an income while learning. According to Anne, the objective is to make apprenticeships highly accessible, to let everyone gain from the resultant promising career opportunities.
Each of the cities has taken a pledge to raise diversity within apprenticeships locally. For example, Greater Manchester has an objective of delivering 16% representation in BAME apprenticeships. Leicester will contribute an increased number of apprenticeships for individuals from deprived backgrounds.
The launch was preceded by Anne reaching out to the elected Mayors of the above-mentioned cities, via writing. This was during August of last year, with an objective of helping NAS build upon local associations and aspirations for boosting initial-level apprenticeship representations. A part of the commitment of the government, information regarding the project can be found in the recent publication, titled [Social Mobility Action Plan]. The project aims to recognise and preach effective approaches so that more people adopt them.
In association with NAS and local partners, Mayors of the respective cities will work towards tearing down the barriers and extend support for BAME individuals, to promote apprenticeship applications. That would translate into them getting great opportunities for working with some of the leading employers in the UK while experiencing valuable learning from reputed UK universities.
Support for the project was also extended by several Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network members, including the University of Birmingham and the BBC.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, stated the objective of making the city known for its values of inclusion, fairness, and equality. According to him, the city must be synonymous with ease of living and ease of finding a livelihood, regardless of one’s personal backgrounds, circumstances, or objectives. He expressed pride in the fact that the city of Greater Manchester is leading diversity celebration within the city-region.
According to the Mayor, initial consultations with employers have already been completed. This included several household national names, who have the commitment to ensuring that the city’s workforces adequately represent its communities. The communities and employers will contribute significantly to the project’s work in Greater Manchester when the much-anticipated work starts.
Anthony Impey, Founder and CEO of Optimity, stated his delight as a member of the taskforce for London Mayor’s Skills and Employment. He stated pleasure in being a champion of apprenticeships with London employers and Londoners. Apprenticeships are great opportunities for developing talents, and to help employers reap the benefits of diversity and talent. The objectives of the Diversity Hub enjoy full support in London. Impey expressed that work will be done in association with partners, including Careers and Enterprise Advisor Network, and the London Apprenticeships Ambassador Network. The objectives are to create multiple levels of diversity in London, increase apprenticeships, and make sure that all Londoners have access to such opportunities.
Sue Husband, director of NAS stated that it was unacceptable for England based BAME persons to be less successful as apprenticeship applicants, as compared to white individuals. However, the statistics pointed towards that reality. For that reason, there is a need for capturing talented individuals across backgrounds and applying proactive effort to remove existing barriers.