01 FEB 2018

Launch of Apprenticeship Diversity Project

Helen Grant MP, the Chair of the Government's Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network, has welcomed the launch of a project which aims to boost diversity amongst new apprentices.

Five major cities across England have pledged to work with the government to drive up apprenticeships among underrepresented groups and ensure they are accessible to individuals from all backgrounds.

Helen with Simeon Powell, Young Apprenticeship Ambassador

The '5 Cities Project', launched by the Department for Education, will see the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) work with partners in the Greater Manchester, London, Bristol, Birmingham and Leicester areas to promote the take-up of apprenticeships among under-represented groups, including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Each city has pledged to boost diversity in apprenticeships in their local area. For example, Greater Manchester aim to deliver at least a 16% increase in BAME apprenticeship representation and Leicester will deliver an increase in apprenticeships for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Welcoming the announcement Helen said:

"I am really excited about the launch of the '5 cities project'. Apprenticeships provide life changing opportunities for our young people, allowing them to earn whilst they learn a new trade or skill. It is crucial that these opportunities are made available to everyone, irrespective of their background.

This project will support the Government to meet its target of increasing BAME apprenticeship starts by 20% by 2020, whilst also providing opportunities to more people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

I am grateful to our partners in the different cities for their support and for the commitment of the partner businesses, especially those already involved with the ADCN, to making this a success. I look forward to learning of the progress the project will bring about."

Director of the National Apprenticeship Service, Sue Husband said:

"It cannot be right in this day and age that BAME individuals in England are, overall, less likely to be successful in their apprenticeship applications than their white counterparts- yet sadly this is what the statistics do show. 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."

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