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£1.9m support increase for Greater Manchester apprenticeships

Small businesses across Greater Manchester have benefitted from boosts in apprenticeship opportunities thanks to a £1.9m support package.

Since March 2019, when the #SeeDifferent Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) Apprentice Support package, was launched in the city-region, a total of 186 small businesses have received grants of £3,000 to help create new apprenticeship opportunities.

The package also helps to remove barriers that often prevent them from creating apprenticeship opportunities.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) built the Growth Company to develop and deliver an online apprenticeship Levy Matchmaking Service that makes sure as many levy payers as possible transfer unspent funds to non-levy players, negating the need for them to pay 5% co-investment costs. Since the launch, in August 2019, over £2 million has been committed by Greater Manchester’s apprenticeship levy payers which could support over 300 apprenticeships.

Work has taken place to deliver the Stimulating Employer Demand for Apprenticeships (SEDA) project which has provided 515 workforce development plans that have been implemented across the city-region.

The plan is hoped to highlight any skills gaps or need for upskilling across businesses, then decide how to access training for existing staff or recruit new staff using the apprenticeship model and taking advantage to the funding available to them.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester said: “This support package has already created a substantial number of opportunities for residents in the city-region and we hope to create even more as we move forward.

“Apprenticeships are crucial in bridging the skills gap and creating good quality employment opportunities which boost productivity. It’s vital that we continue to remove the barriers and make job opportunities in the city-region feel accessible to Greater Manchester residents, both young and old.”

Councillor Sean Fielding, leader of Oldham Council and GMCA lead for education and skills said: “These results show just how important apprenticeships are to the city-region and that we are doing everything we can to help businesses make the most of them.

“Improving the quality and growth of apprenticeships is a fantastic way to get people into work, allowing them to have the support they need to enter and sustain employment and with the chance to up-skill and progress in their careers. Apprenticeships are an excellent route for anyone looking to start, change or develop their careers.”


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