Best in the (north) West

In many respects this follows on from my last post on Wednesday. As I was busy writing that, the Council was issuing a press release announcing that at this year's National Apprenticeship Awards the City Council had been named as the North West's Macro Employer of the Year. The Council is also named in the UK Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list. Notwithstanding the impacts of cuts, the Council has employed 241 apprentices over the past eighteen months.

At the same time, through its Apprentice Revolution Scheme run in association with the National Apprenticeship Service, we have successfully persuaded over three hundred Manchester companies to invest in apprentices, an investment for the city, the companies and for the future of the apprentices themselves.

The need for skilled workers is set to grow enormously over the next few years. A report from Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce reported in Construction News identifies a 200% increase in demand for labour and skills in the construction sector alone over the next five years with £15.6billion of work forecast between now and 2017. There will be a 632% increase in infrastructure starts over the next two years, and by March next year, there will be over 64,000 workers on site, a 10,000 increase. That's the good news. The bad news is that on current projections there is a 27% gap between additional skills needed and people qualifying so the industry and the training providers really need to up their game. But what fantastic opportunities for people in our city!

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