Manchester gets behind digital skills with £4m boost
Digital businesses among those to benefit from schemes aimed at creating a "pipeline of talent that meets employer needs"
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) is to use almost £4m of funding to support the creation of a raft of schemes aimed at boosting apprenticeships, including those allocated to digital businesses.
The funding will also be used to support apprenticeships and improve skills in the health and social care, finance and construction sectors, creating at least 500 placements in total.
The GMCA has promised to facilitate partnerships between employers and apprenticeship and skills providers “to create a pipeline of talent that meets employer needs.”
Other initiatives include the SME Apprenticeships Support Package to help smaller employers with no experience of apprenticeships, which will see GMCA work with around 1,500 employers to create at least 700 new apprenticeships.
The Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham also plans to create a UCAS-style application process to support young people to make more informed career choices, including apprenticeships.
Councillor Sean Fielding, leader of Oldham Council and GMCA lead for education and skills, said: “We are determined here in Greater Manchester to make sure our young people are equipped for life and also that there are good jobs available for people to progress and develop, and we can’t achieve either of these goals without apprenticeships.
“It is not just about apprenticeships though, it is about the right apprenticeships for the right people and this is why these programmes are so important. Around 80% of apprenticeship opportunities in Greater Manchester are with SMEs and we need to work with these employers to give people the best chance to start or develop their career.
The funding became available because the Youth Contract Expansion, Greater Manchester Apprenticeship Grant for Employers and Greater Manchester City Deal came in under budget.
The GMCA is made up of the ten Greater Manchester councils: Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan, and is run jointly by their leaders and the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham.
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