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Greater Manchester Apprenticeship Conference sets out strategy

08/03/2016

Greater Manchester Apprenticeship Conference sets out strategy

Over 200 key players from across Greater Manchester will attend a conference at Emirates Old Trafford today to help shape Greater Manchester’s Apprenticeship Strategy.

Organised on behalf of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and taking place on the eve of National Apprenticeship Week (14-18 March), the conference will focus on the region’s skills and employment priorities, enable partners to meet face-to-face to identify opportunities for closer joint working and celebrate milestones already achieved.

Delegates will hear from both employers and apprentices, take part in a workshop to help shape the future direction of apprenticeships and network during a round of ‘project speed dating’. Theresa Grant, the GMCA Lead Chief Executive for skills and employment, will conclude the conference with a call to action, encouraging delegates to forge new links with projects and partners to create new, high quality apprenticeships across Greater Manchester.

Theresa said: “By providing on the job training as well as qualifications up to and including Masters degrees, apprenticeships are an important route into skilled employment, especially for young people. They are also a key strand of talent management and workforce skills planning for businesses of all sizes and types. It is therefore essential we get our approach right. This conference enables key partners from across the region to get together, share their expertise and help shape a strategy that will deliver long term employability and earning potential for Greater Manchester’s businesses and residents.”

Sean Anstee, GMCA’s Portfolio Leader for skills and employment, said: “The most valuable resource a company has is its workforce. Apprenticeships benefit not only the apprentices themselves, who can earn while they learn, but employers who can help shape their staff’s development, boost productivity and increase loyalty.

“Increasing the skills of our workforce, both individually and collectively, is a key priority for Greater Manchester and apprenticeships will be central to this, whether it is young people just starting out on their career paths and entering the workforce for the first time or those looking to re-skill or upskill later in their careers. I look forward to seeing how this conference will help Greater Manchester achieve our apprenticeship ambitions.”

Since 2013, the GM Apprenticeship Hub has been commissioned by the GMCA to develop the Greater Manchester Apprenticeship Strategy.

It sets out three main objectives:

  • To maximise employer take up of apprenticeships in GM’s key sectors
  • To improve information, advice and guidance services for young people
  • To develop the capacity of providers, ensuring supply is matched to demand

Greater Manchester Apprenticeship key facts:

  • Over 29,000 apprenticeships started in Greater Manchester in 2014/2015 - an increase of around 2,500 on 2013/14.
  • Apprenticeship frameworks relevant to general business and health care are the most popular
  • The 2014 Employer Perspectives Survey (UKCES) shows Greater Manchester employers are more likely to offer apprenticeships than employers in other LEP areas (21% - joint highest with Tees Valley LEP)