MORE THAN 70 new apprenticeship opportunities have been created across Greater Manchester, after funding was awarded to projects helping to support underrepresented groups.
A total of £328,000 has been handed to seven local organisations to support them in attracting and recruiting new apprentices as part of the Removing Barriers scheme.
The projects range from placements that support young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) into digital apprenticeships; black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) residents into the engineering sector; and single parents into teaching assistant roles.
The projects to have received funding are:
- Men in the Early Years – A collaboration between Kids Planet nursery provider and the Fatherhood Institute offering 12 apprenticeship placements for men
- BAME Engineers – A total of 20 pre-apprenticeship places and 10 apprenticeships for BAME young people to learn engineering skills in Rochdale
- SCC Supported Apprenticeships – Salford City Council, ForHousing and Career Connect will create 10 supported apprenticeships for young SEND learners
- Single Parent TAs – Rochdale Training, Rochdale Borough Council, Positive Steps and Job Centre Plus are creating a minimum of 10 Teaching Assistant apprenticeship placements for single parents
- Digital Supported Apprenticeship – The White Room, Total People, Manchester City Council and Pure Innovations are offering 15 places in the digital sector for SEND young people
- Oldham 16-25 year-olds – Oldham Council, Northern Care Alliance and Positive Steps offering 10 placements to young people with additional barriers to employment
- Coldhurst Ward, Oldham – Single parents, BAME residents and those with mental health conditions living in the Coldhurst ward offered 10 placements in Healthcare Assistant and Business Administration roles
Removing Barriers will run as a ‘test and learn’ initiative, with plans in place to create further apprenticeship opportunities for even more people across the city-region, removing whatever barriers they face.
BAME Engineers is one of the projects to have received a grant to enable them to offer placements to a minimum of 20 learners. Learners on the programme gain accredited engineering skills and knowledge, as well as employability training with a learning mentor.
Mohammed Yusuf Khan, 16, is one of the apprentices currently on the programme and said he initially struggled to be shortlisted for an engineering placement. After being accepted onto the programme, he is now looking forward to learning the skills needed in order to help him progress into the engineering sector.
He said he believes the scheme is a good opportunity to break down barriers, as it helps support the local community progress into job roles they may not have had access to previously.
Mohammed added: “I’m looking forward to learning the practical skills I need in order to progress into my dream apprenticeship, following in my family’s footsteps and making them proud.”
Councillor Sean Fielding, Portfolio Lead for Digital, Education, Skills, Work and Apprenticeships said: “It is great that we have been able to award funding to so many amazing local organisations that work to remove barriers to apprenticeships in our city-region.
“Expanding apprenticeship opportunities will enable people to find full time work, while also giving them the necessary skills to develop their careers. Apprenticeship placements and job opportunities should be accessible to everyone in the city-region, regardless of their background, and it is hoped even more placements under the Removing Barriers scheme will be created for underrepresented groups as the programme continues.”
The Removing Barriers funding forms part of a wider commitment to young people in the city-region as part of the Greater Manchester Young Person’s Guarantee. The Prince’s Trust – in partnership with the GMCA – is awarding almost £250,000 through its Future Workforce Fund to 10 other projects focused on supporting some of the most disadvantaged and disengaged young people to move into positive education, employment and training opportunities across Greater Manchester.
Removing Barriers will support and help deliver the Greater Manchester Strategy as well as enhance Greater Manchester’s apprenticeship ambition.
GMCA continues to improve the quality and grow the numbers of apprenticeships in Greater Manchester, with approximately 22,250 apprenticeships started in 2018/2019.