From education to employment

GBSLEP Skills and Apprenticeship Hub have supported 528 businesses to upskill more people through apprenticeships

Chair of Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), Anita Bhalla

#NationalApprenticeshipWeek gives us all an opportunity to reflect on the importance of offering training opportunities.

With an unemployment rate of 4.7% in the West Midlands, using untapped talent is high on the agenda of organisations like GBSLEP.

Couple this with the Government’s ambition to ‘level up’ through skills, the need for action is now.

Growing your business with an apprentice

One route that offers people a great opportunity to upskill whilst working, is an apprenticeship. Contrary to popular belief apprenticeships are not only for the 18-year-olds in our society!  

They are for people, of all ages, and at all levels, including up to Masters degree level.

However, in the world of training, employers can often feel unsure about taking on their first apprentice or hosting an apprenticeship programme.

That’s where GBSLEP Skills and Apprenticeship Hub comes in.

We are here to offer free advice, guidance, and signposting, to help enable your business to take on an apprentice, whether it’s for their first time or tenth!

We ensure that employers are linked to the right training providers so that the skills needed in the workplace are being met. 

We can also help you to navigate apprenticeship grants and traineeships so you can access the right people to fill your skills gap. At the end of the day, we want to support you to grow your business.

I was really thrilled to learn about Rapid Response in Cannock – one of the businesses we are helping here at GBSLEP.

It’s a training provider and employer offering apprenticeships in the emergency healthcare services sector.

Paul Neuchterlien is their Apprenticeship Manager and in recent chat told us:

“Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to train new staff while they learn and gain new skills whilst on the job. The benefits of taking on a new apprenticeship would be to develop the skills gap within your business, growth of business, crafting and developing an employee for the future.”

Paul added, “GBSLEP helped us in a short space of time with networking opportunities, looking at possible opportunities for finance, development and growth. I would encourage any business to get support from the GBSLEP. They will get the same level of support that we’ve had, communication from the Account Manager, development of funding, support, knowledge, experience. Their support was extremely valuable, easy to access, give them a call and see what they can do for you.”

Here at GBSLEP we want to help more businesses like Rapid Response to gain value from developing apprenticeships and upskilling the local population.

We have a team of skilled advisors led by Lee Cattermole, the Skills and Apprenticeship Hub Manager.

Lee recently told me: “Since launching the Skills and Apprenticeship Hub in late 2020 we have supported 528 businesses. We are in a position to really help deliver the Levelling Up requirements that government announced last week, by aiding the GBSLEP region’s businesses to upskill more people through apprenticeships.”

This year’s hashtag for Apprenticeship Week is #BuildTheFuture and that’s what we’re here to do – create employment opportunities for everyone.  

We want SME businesses in the GBSLEP region to get in touch at and we can help you with apprenticeship, training or skills needs that your business has. Our collaborative approach will help you to develop tailored support.

Anita Bhalla, Chair of Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP)

Related Articles