Workforce, Pensions and Training

04.12.19

West Midlands sees 8.7% boost in apprenticeships

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has announced figures showing a rise in jobs and skills, with over 2,500 new apprenticeships created in the region.

The report comes from the Office for Data Analytics, showing that there are now 31,750 apprenticeships in the region, an 8.7% increase on the previous year and nearly double the national increase of 4.7%.

It comes after a WMCA drive to increase job and skills opportunities within local people and has resulted in a rising number of apprenticeships in each of the three Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas.

Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP grew by 10%, Black Country LEP by 9.5% and Coventry and Warwickshire by 4.6%.

Julie Nugent, director of productivity and skills at the WMCA, said:

“These figures show how our work to boost the region’s skills, job opportunities and productivity is making a positive difference to people’s lives.

“We set up the Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Fund to pay for training costs for apprentices at local small and medium-sized enterprises, as part of our Skills Deal with the Government last summer. Thanks to large organisations pledging their unspent apprenticeship levy, more companies are able to hire apprentices and upskill their existing staff. This has created more than 150 new apprenticeships across the region so far.

“The next step is to get more large firms to sign up so that we can create more job and skills opportunities, benefiting both businesses and residents across the region.”

The Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Fund works to retain levy money within the region, by allowing the WMCA to pair large organisations with smaller companies. The larger employers then transfer a portion of their unused or unspent apprenticeship levy funds to the smaller businesses.

This means that they can pay for apprenticeship training and assessment costs where they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to.

More than £5m has been contributed by big businesses to help create apprenticeships in the region by joining the WMCA partnership.

Large and small organisations are being urged by WMCA to explore this option and consider apprenticeships as a way to further your business and help the growth of the local area.

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