Government is investing an additional £3.8bn in further education and skills.
The number of opportunities for apprenticeships will be increasing over the next few years as
Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) has recently set out its objectives in a new three-year Apprenticeship Strategy and Action Plan.
It comes as data shows half of apprenticeships in the LLEP region are started by people aged 25 and above. Female 'starts' outnumbered male starts in 2020-21.
The LLEP wants to grow the number of SMEs taking on apprentices and support employers and education providers in increasing the number of higher and degree apprenticeships.
It would also like to see apprenticeships and other vocational options like T-levels recognised in equal parity to academic routes and an alternative pathway to successful careers across all sectors of the economy.
Verity Hancock, Chair of the LLEP’s Skills Advisory Panel and Principal of Leicester College, said: “Inclusivity and productivity are core focuses of the LLEP’s economic growth strategy and we are already introducing projects, such as the Apprenticeship Ambassador Network, which will improve the quality, number and take-up of local apprenticeships.
“Our Apprenticeship Strategy and Action Plan sets out how we will work with regional education and skills providers and employers, especially SMEs, to further raise awareness of apprenticeships, traineeships and T-levels through to 2024.
“Our goal is to deliver improved links to careers in the curriculum, especially for those aged 16 to 18, and start apprenticeship conversations with adults. By working with business intermediaries, we can increase the number of apprenticeships locally, particularly around STEM subjects.”
It follows the Levelling Up White Paper, in which Government set out twelve ‘missions’ in which it believes progress is needed over the next decade.
Government is investing an additional £3.8bn in further education and skills to ensure the number of people successfully completing high-quality skills training significantly increases by 2030.
The LLEP recognises that local challenges remain. The continuing dominance of the academic route among young people, and lack of awareness about availability of apprenticeships for adults have both been identified.
The number of advertised vacancies is also lower in Leicester and Leicestershire than in other areas – a trend attributed to the region’s large SME population.
Most apprenticeship starts in the region are in the city and North West Leicestershire as a result of the number of larger employers.
Analysis has identified Engineering and Manufacturing as skills priorities for the LLEP area which require an ongoing supply of skilled employees.
The LLEP is addressing these challenges with its 20-point action plan aimed at encouraging employers to take on more apprentice talent while raising the take-up of apprenticeships among people of all ages.
On April 5, the LLEP is co-ordinating a webinar with wider partners for advisers who support people into work, encouraging them to promote apprenticeships as an option. To join the session, email email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Levitha Biji
Levitha is a broadcast journalism graduate, currently studying MA International Media and Communication Studies at the University of Nottingham. Having lived in three countries and being fluent in three languages, she's passionate about global journalism. She's recently finished an internship with Niche Magazine and also runs her own blog, Levitha Mariam.