Manchester City Council

Aspiration and Skills

I'm joined by Simon Waugh who chairs the National Apprenticeship Service for a breakfast session aimed at getting more employers to take on apprentices. The City Council is already leading by example with 550 apprentices since signing the Skills pledge, but of 17,360 businesses in the city, only 867 employ apprentices.

We want to increase that to 3422 ( 20% ) by 2012/13 with one in four 16 to 18 year olds participating in apprenticeships by 2020. We have two excellent case studies, one by Phil Probst from BT Openworld, the other by Julia Yates from Bank of New York Mellon, which set out clearly the benefits of apprenticeships to employers and employees alike. For employers, the costs of apprentices are recovered very quickly, staff who have been through an apprenticeship tend to be far more productive and profitable and are far more likely to stay with the company. For the employee, if they've been through an apprenticeship, their lifetime earnings are on average significantly higher than those who haven't. The National Apprenticeship Service makes it relatively easy for companies to employ apprentices but we also need more promotion of apprenticeships as a first choice route into employment, training and career progression. Also worth noting that anybody in employment who hasn't got a degree can be an apprentice whatever their age.

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There are 16 responses to “Aspiration and Skills”

  1. Val Stevens Says:

    Very worthwhile meeting. Training for young people of major importance. I am sure it slipped your memory in a busy week to mention International Women's Day. William Hague and President Abbas mentioned it and I know yoor commitment.

  2. JAMES Says:

    "Also worth noting that anybody in employment who hasn't got a degree can be an apprentice whatever their age"

    Sir Richard, i'm 30 years of age and not even obtained "A" levels, would I therefore be able to apply for an Apprenticeship?

  3. Skint Eastwood Says:

    You should really try this in your own workplace first; I think you should look at what’s happening here before criticising other businesses! I have been with the FJF for the last six months. My original goal in joining the FJF was to do the IT Apprenticeship here. However I was told by the FJF, MCC, Skills Solutions and Work Solutions there was no chance of this happening despite several qualifications and some expertise in the IT field. I was given several (and not very well put) excuses including:- Being over qualified (despite not having a degree), being too old (I’m 36), the fact there was no funding (no funding for the FJF employees, I saw several staff here training and taught within the Apprenticeship), that I had to be employed (odd that I’m not counted as unemployed in the Governments figures, strangely not counted as employed for the Apprenticeship), it would take too long and (saving the best for last) – it wouldn’t be worth it. So instead of learning something useful that would have definitely helped me get work in the future, I’ve mainly been doing the work other people here either find too boring or think themselves too big to do. Looks like someone will have to find someone else to do the photocopying, as this is my last week here. Final score 0-0 after extra time, nothing gained – nothing lost.

  4. Richard Leese Says:

    @ James. Yes
    @ Val Stevens. Sorry. Today is International Womens Day. There were celebratory events in the Town Hall over the weekend and IWD does VD in the Town Hall tonight

  5. James Says:

    Skint Eastwood - I totally agree with what you say about being told, "You're too over qualified", "Not enough Experience", though no-one has yet commented on my age yet, so watch this space.

    I generally do Accounts, "Purchaser Ledger, doesn't sound interesting though it is to me, though tried to get into Credit Control, just to broaden my experience a tiny bit.

    The problem with this is that I constantly get told, You haven't got ANY experience in this field", I'm aware of that, though where do you gain this experience IF no-one will give you the training etc....

    I could be a boo-keeper or an Accountantant though I'm not, though EVERY business have different ways of working, so what I've used in one company for x amount of years generally does nothing for the next company IF all or most of the systems or processes are totally different.

    I'm far from thick, though different companies different processes/systems.

    Sir Richard - Thanks for clarifing this to me, I have heard that Apprenticeships MUST be completed before someone reaches their 25th birthday, if at 30 I could start an Apprenticeship can I ask:

    1) Why isn't this know more

    2) Where can I gain further information about this?

    Lastly SkintEastwood, you seem to be a really "Bright" bloke, though in the cold light of day, if people can get a job, it is a slight miracle, though what would you be rather on, filling a gap with this job (even though it's not the best) or claiming J.S.A?

    You have valid point, though.

  6. The eye Says:

    Val, You should just enjoy the french sticks and be done with it. Cant somebody actually expose any juicy stories on here ? Sir Howard has been left alone on here. Why ? He very high profile. Surely some juicy news info on him would be worth reading rather than the repeated topics on here....Spice it up please :) Anybody want to provide us with fresh topic ?

  7. Overlooked Says:

    In the same vein as Mr Skint, I too had a 6 month FJF placement and had staff dashing here there and everywhere to try and get me a place to stay on in a full time council employed role. For many procedural reasons I too was not allowed an Apprenticeship, or indeed anything else. I had timed it perfectly for the recruitment freeze and M-People foundation setting. So despite being wanted by a large number of people I fell by the wayside. Don't cry for me though, I was quickly snapped up somewhere else.

  8. Skint Eastwood Says:

    @ James
    Thanks James, however as noted I will be leaving next week having gained no real accreditation or qualification. I am still in the same boat I was in 6 months ago. JSA is just around the corner for me again, at least I will be a government statistic this time, it’s good to be noticed. Lol.

  9. Skint Eastwood Says:

    @ Overlooked
    Thanks for that. I feel slightly more positive knowing that’s there’s some hope for me and all the other people who were also overlooked by the FJF and MCC.

  10. Calamity Jane Says:

    I too fully agree with Skint Eastwood –with the rest.

    I went on the march on Saturday and it felt great to finally be able to voice my disgust at this CON DEM Government and THIS council too and I will be on many more to come.

    We’re been top heavy with upper Management for years whilst the frontline staff have got smaller. CUTS should have started here first and years ago.

    Of course Sir Richard will tell us that they have been the first to go and so they have been - pushing their wheelbarrows of cash out with them and leaving the sinking ship behind them.

    Hopefully this year too we won’t be having the usual if your face fits Staff Awards night Sir. Richard – now there’s a saving surely !!!

    Rumour has it that ‘FJF trainees are as we speak in the process of wrapping up (ending) – surely not ???

  11. Skint Eastwood Says:

    I too have heard the same rumours, as the course is a rolling course they have taken on some new faces, however as far as I know they won’t be anymore. Looks like you’ll all have to cope with doing your own data input and photocopying. I’m sure you’ll all manage!

  12. franky Says:

    I could'nt agree more about apprenticeships. Those youngsters who dont go to Uni, probably have a skill that they can exploit in an apprenticeship. Bring back the 4/5 year apprenticeships!

  13. Bernsteinwatch Says:

    @Skint. Stupid boy - you still haven't learned that FJF/apprenticeships are all about keeping the Providers, MCC managers, etc. in business - not you. Understood that way, doesn't it all make sense now?

  14. Pauline Says:

    The Future Jobs Fund (FJF) has finished. This scheme was Central Government Funded and one of the first annoucments of the ConDem Government was to cancel the scheme. In terms of the apprentice programme, the City has employed over 500, and as Sir Richard says in his post what needs to happen is that business sign up to this and provide opportunites. For details on the apprentice scheme check as a start.

  15. XFJF Says:

    Yep the scheme was one of the first things to go, but the funding it had already recieved remained in place and it will run on around the country until the money dries up, so I'm not sure about MCC but it might run on for the remainder of the year, until the pot is empty.

  16. heather Says:

    my son is currently in his 2nd of an Electrician course but to complete his qualification he will have to find an apprenticeship although the college is saying this is unlikely. What is the point of him continuing.



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