‘5 Cities Project’ launched to boost diversity in Apprenticeships

The Apprenticeships and Skills Minister, Anne Milton has recently launched a well-backed new project, aimed at increasing under-represented groups choosing Apprenticeships as their preferential route, as they look to take the next steps onto their career journeys.

As part of the driving force of this project, five of our country’s major cities have pledged to work closely with the government to increase the number of Apprenticeships among under-represented groups and ensure that they are readily accessible to individuals across a range of different backgrounds.

The ‘5 Cities Project’, aimed at promoting Apprenticeships among under-represented groups, including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and those from disadvantaged backgrounds, was launched by the Department for Education last month. This national project will see the National Apprenticeship Service work closely with the elected Majors of London, Greater Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Leicester after they offered their support when approached by the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister last August.

The Apprenticeships and Skills Minister, Anne Milton is thrilled by the strong support that she has received “It’s great to be working together on our drive to make sure that everyone, whatever their background, can get onto an apprenticeship at whatever level suits them.

Apprenticeships are a great route into skilled employment and allow people to earn while they learn. We want it to be as easy as possible to get on to an apprenticeship, so that everyone can benefit from the excellent career prospects that apprenticeships offer”.

The 5 cities have each pledged to boost diversity in apprenticeships in their local area. A prime example of this is Greater Manchester, who aim to deliver a minimum of a 16% increase in BAME Apprenticeships. Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester commented “We want Greater Manchester to be known for its fairness, equality and inclusion – a place where everyone can get on in life and get into work, whatever your circumstances, background or aspirations. That’s why I’m proud that Greater Manchester is part of a pilot that’s going to celebrate the diversity of our city/region.

We’ve already had initial discussions with employers – including some national household names – who are committed to working together to make sure that our workforces are more representative of the communities we serve. Those employers and communities will be a crucial part of shaping how the pilot will work in Greater Manchester, and we’re looking forward to getting started.”

The group of cities, along with local partners will meet regularly and will work closely with the National Apprenticeship Service to break down any current barriers and support BAME individuals. Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service commented “It cannot be right in this day and age that BAME individuals in England are, overall, less likely to be successful in their apprenticeship applications than their white counterparts- yet sadly this is what the statistics do show. It is critical that we capture the talent of individuals from all backgrounds, and proactively work to remove any barriers that do exist – and that is why the 5 Cities Project is so important.”

Equality of opportunity and inclusivity is fundamental to the vision and values of 3aaa Apprenticeships. The principles of equality and diversity are at the very heart of every operational aspect from selection and recruitment through to teaching and learning, and are supported by appropriate policies, procedures and good practice. We believe that this new project is a positive step to ensuring that all under-represented groups have access to life-changing Apprenticeship opportunities.

At 3aaa Apprenticeships, we have a strong presence in each of these 5 cities and we are consciously supporting the ‘5 Cities Project’ by ensuring that the best opportunities are readily available to everyone that we work with.

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