From education to employment

Drop-in numbers but the full picture on Apprenticeship starts

Safaraz Ali, co-founder of the Pathway Group at the National Apprenticeship Event and Conference in Birmingham

THE Chief Executive Officer of training provider The Pathway Group and founder of the Asian Apprenticeship Awards says that the drop-in numbers of Apprenticeships is “newsworthy” but it does not portray the complete picture.

Safaraz made his comment after opening the National Apprenticeship Show at the ICC in Birmingham on behalf of the British Asian Minority Ethnic Apprenticeship Alliance (BAMEAA).

The event featured a host of employers, many of them household name businesses and organisations, as well as national and local training providers who were on hand to talk to young people and parents face-to-face about apprenticeship opportunities in the Midlands.

The event took place against a background of a huge fall last year in the number of apprenticeship starts down more than 40 per cent.

“There were many young people at the show and the level of interest and enthusiasm for apprenticeships is convincing that it’s not the level of new jobs and attracting new talent that is the issue but the use of apprenticeship for upskilling existing starts where the blip is following the introduction of the apprenticeship levy,”

 “However, there is huge potential and despite the delays in businesses in taking advantage of the opportunities, which is both frustrating, there are now some positive signs with a lot of chatter with employers who are starting to look at the levy as an opportunity to strategically plan their training for staff retention and upskilling.”  he said.

The Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Apprenticeship Alliance (BAMEAA) is an organisation that brings together leaders within business and education to focus on promoting apprenticeship and skills among the Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic communities.

Safaraz (Saf) originally from the financial services sector, is a co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Pathway Group, a Premier Member of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce.

Pathway Group is a National Workforce Development Solutions Provider with a key focus on apprenticeships.

Safaraz has been instrumental in Pathway delivering a very wide range of programmes over a period of 15 years.

He also heads the Pathway2Grow business networking group for employers and has plans to expand that nationally.

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