From education to employment

A clear declaration of intent from Macclesfield College

Macclesfield College has spelt out its complete commitment to East Cheshire’s vibrant business community, by introducing an innovative and far-reaching apprenticeship recruitment drive designed to develop and train the region’s next generation of highly skilled workers.

Officially launched on Friday 30th November and endorsed by College Principal and Chief Executive Rachel Kay and long-time friend of the College, local MP David Rutley, the ‘Macclesfield Manifesto’ will see the College and its employer-responsive arm, Maxim Business Training supporting the region’s businesses and SMEs, by setting out to recruit 100 young people onto its diverse and wide-ranging apprenticeship programmes… in just 100 days, from January 2019.

Developed with the specific intent of engaging with the region’s young learners, addressing local company skill’s gaps and training people with the specific skills businesses need and demand in order to maintain and enhance their success in an increasingly competitive commercial environment, the Macclesfield Manifesto will build on the College’s existing good practice in this vital area.

“In essence, the Macclesfield Manifesto is a high-profile recruitment process for apprentices throughout East Cheshire,” elaborates Principal and Chief Executive of Macclesfield College, Rachel Kay.

“It is aimed at building and instilling greater self-confidence, enhancing employability skills and creating a stronger, more industry-focused skills base across the region. Businesses throughout our local community are invited to join our vision for East Cheshire, by signing up to our Manifesto and facing the exciting challenge that lies ahead for us all, in the coming months.”

Despite the Cheshire and Warrington sub-region possessing the north of England’s largest and most buoyant economy (currently, it boasts the largest GDP per capita outside London), 25% of the region’s workers are earning below the living wage, and there are still significant skills gaps that are hindering further growth, both for individuals and businesses.

Likewise, in comparison with the national average, the region has relatively few people who are unemployed, yet there are still approximately 40,000 individuals living in the region who are either out of work or economically inactive and wanting a job.

Of these, there are 870 young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) who are known to the local authorities, and many more who are at risk of becoming NEET in the future.

These residents are not benefiting from the continued and steady growth in the region’s economy, and it is a situation that urgently needs to be addressed, via schemes such as the Macclesfield Manifesto.

In signing up to the Manifesto, local businesses will commit to recommending and supporting Maxim’s leading-edge service portfolio throughout the region, and endorse Macclesfield College – and its dedicated employer-responsive arm – as their approved provider of both apprenticeships and high quality, industry-relevant training.

“The Macclesfield Manifesto will benefit local business by establishing and fostering a shared vision and intent which will fuel the continued growth and evolution of the region’s commercial environment and economy,” says Macclesfield College’s Director of Employer Enterprise and Commercial Services, Tracy Cosgrave. 

“To have such an influential local figure as David Rutley fully on board from the outset is extremely encouraging and reassuring,” Tracy continues, “and this is precisely the level of support our new Manifesto deserves and needs if we are to recruit 100 young people to our apprenticeship programmes in a little over three months.”

Throughout the entire process, Macclesfield College and Maxim Business Training will act as a continuous and proactive support mechanism for employers and candidates alike.

Courses available will range from Construction to Information & Communications Technologies, and the Macclesfield Manifesto is specifically targeting 16 to 24 year-olds from all socio-economic backgrounds, to ensure they gain invaluable, paid work experience while they learn, and help them to begin their working lives on the firmest possible footing.

Throughout the 100-day duration of this ambitious and radical recruitment drive, it is anticipated that the College and its pledging partners will publish joint PR, and each of the companies that make up the first 100 apprentices will participate in a public countdown, culminating in an end-of-year event hosted by Macclesfield College at its state-of-the-art campus.

“I am delighted to support the ongoing work of Macclesfield College,” says MP for Macclesfield and champion of the College, David Rutley.

“Apprenticeships are really important and these initiatives shine the spotlight on the skills and opportunities that apprenticeships can bring. I look forward to meeting the 100 new apprentices,” concludes David, “and seeing the Macclesfield Manifesto become established in our community.”

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