Comment: Don’t underestimate the power of apprenticeships and their positive impact

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The Ladder for Greater Birmingham initiative was launched by a collection of partners in summer 2018 with the aim of creating hundreds of new apprenticeship roles in the city and Solihull.

BusinessLive publisher Reach plc has supported the campaign from the beginning as media partner and next month we will host our second Birmingham Apprenticeship Awards.

Here, Rob Colbourne, chief executive of training provider Performance Through People and a member of the Ladder partnership, outlines the vital role apprentices play.

In 1997, newly elected Prime Minister Tony Blair addressed an audience at the Labour Party Conference and famously said “education, education, education”.

Clearly, education is important but the elephant in the room was this meant school and then onto university while choosing any other option was a failure.

Of course, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

It has taken more than over 20 years but we now have a Prime Minister who knows the power of the apprenticeship brand and the positive impact it can have on employers, communities and individuals.

The Ladder for Greater Birmingham offers appropriate information, advice and guidance to school leavers, parents and the unemployed regarding the job opportunities available through apprenticeships and, just as importantly, progression within a business.

More than 1,000 candidates, many who knew nothing about apprenticeships, have found employment through the Ladder initiative and its partners and have gone on to complete higher level qualifications and progress within their business.

The Birmingham Apprenticeship Awards are back for a second year, in partnership with the Ladder for Greater Birmingham. The event will be held online only on Friday November 27, 2020 and will celebrate apprentices, employers and training and education providers.

The deadline to enter has now passed but sponsorship opportunities are still available.

If you have any questions about the awards in general, please email paige.jackson@reachplc.com and contact nikki.kandola@reachplc.com if you would like to learn more about becoming a commercial partner of the awards.

For more information visit our events website here and please follow the hashtag #BAA20 for updates on social media.

The aim of any Ladder project – there have been others in places such as Shropshire and the Black Country – is to have a lasting legacy, such as the Ladder School in Walsall where vocational learning is a priority.

There are also Apprenticeship Hubs throughout the West Midlands which continually support stakeholders with the recruitment of apprentices and, in Birmingham, the recently launched triage service.

At a time of challenge and uncertainty, launching a phase two Ladder for Greater Birmingham with key partners such as Reach plc has not only benefited the region but continues to support employers recruiting fit-for-purpose staff through an apprenticeship programme and offers financial assistance through government grants.

The Ladder will also offer a service to schools ensuring all ‘next step’ options are discussed with pupils to enable them to make informed decisions regarding the path they take, be it continuing in education or the apprenticeship route where they can earn and learn at the same time.

I’m incredibly proud of the Ladder brand and really excited the partnership understands the positive impact it can have on the West Midlands region – not only for apprenticeships but the many options now available to employers and future employees such as traineeships and the kickstart programme.

For more information about Ladder for Greater Birmingham initiative visit ladderforbirmingham.co.uk or call 03332 409 699. To get involved the Birmingham Apprenticeship Awards 2020 as a commercial partner visit reachplcevents.com.


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