On February 2nd, Apprenticeship and Skills Minister Anne Milton and the Department of Education (DoE) launched the ‘5 Cities Project‘. The idea of the project is to ensure that under-represented groups all have equal access to apprenticeships across England. The under-represented groups include Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and people from disadvantaged backgrounds
London, Birmingham, Greater Manchester, Bristol and Leicester are all involved in the movement. Hence the name is the ‘5 cities’ project!
So, each city involved will be collaborating with the National Apprenticeship Service. Different cities are committed to different ways of boosting diversity in apprenticeships in their areas. Greater Manchester is aiming to deliver a 16% BAME apprenticeship representation, whereas Leicester wants to deliver an increase in apprenticeships for people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
There are so many groups local to each city that are getting involved with and supporting the project. This includes local authorities, schools, community groups and of course, apprenticeship providers.
All groups will be encouraging BAME individuals to apply for apprenticeships. However, this won’t just involve level 2 and 3 apprenticeships. In order to meet each individuals’ talents and needs, the groups will be promoting higher and degree level apprenticeships. This gives them opportunities to work with some of the UK’s key employers – Rolls Royce, Interserve, Optimity and B&Q to name a few.
Director of the National Apprenticeship Service Sue Husband said…
“It is critical that we capture the talent of individuals from all backgrounds, and proactively work to remove any barriers that do exist – and that is why the 5 Cities Project is so important.”
Apprenticeship and Skills Minister Anne Milton said…
“I’m thrilled by the strong support we have received for this project. It’s great to be working together on our drive to make sure that everyone, whatever their background, can get onto an apprenticeship at whatever level suits them.”
Well, what a brilliant idea?! This is such an important project. Statistics from BITC show that ‘despite high application rates among BAME applicants, it isn’t reflected in the actual number of BAME apprentices. 28% of applicants are from a BAME background, yet only 10% of those start apprenticeships‘. In this day and age especially, statistics like this simply aren’t good enough. Hopefully, the ‘5 Cities’ project will help these statistics to improve.
We’re especially pleased that London, Birmingham and Manchester are involved with the project as these are the most popular locations of our learners. They are also 3 out of the 4 locations in which we carry out day sessions for our Assessor and AET courses! Maybe one of the learners we train to become an Assessor will become involved with this project in the future.