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GBSLEP backs apprentice triage service

The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) has launched apprenticeship and employment triage services to help employers, apprentices and individuals seeking support in light of Covid-19.

GBSLEP has worked alongside its partners to create a service to help employers continue training employees who previously worked on apprenticeships but have since been furloughed.

Support within the service includes helping to match off-programme apprentices, or those who may been made redundant, to new vacancies, as well as providing information, advice and guidance to apprentices as they search for new roles or look to develop new skills.

The employment triage will assist employers to recruit workers to meet current needs.

Employers who have recently had to place staff on the furlough scheme will be given guidance on how to provide training for staff while they are not working to help them develop their personal and professional skillsets.

Apprenticeship training providers will also be supported by helping them coordinate the filling of apprenticeship vacancies and communicating with at-risk or recently lost apprentices.

The triage services are the latest scheme GBSLEP has helped create with a focus on improving skills. In conjunction with Birmingham Live, Vine Trust and Performance through People, it supported the launch and delivery of the Ladder for Greater Birmingham and Solihull, an apprenticeship inspiration campaign which has seen over 1000 new apprenticeship starts since its launch in 2018. The Ladder will now play an integral role in delivering these support services. 

In 2018/2019, it also invested £24.2m via the Local Growth Fund, which backed projects which saw 1,840 upskilled learners and created over 2,000 jobs.

Helen Higson, chair of GBSLEP’s Employment and Skills Board, said: “Apprenticeships play a huge and vital role in boosting the economy of the GBSLEP region. Collaboration and close partnership working, as seen with the launch of these triage services, are crucial in ensuring the development of more employer-led programmes. They also create new opportunities for learners.

“Covid-19 has had a profound impact on businesses across all sectors, and we want to make sure that we are giving employers every chance to retain staff, and encourage apprentices to develop skills to help them become the next generation of leaders in their respective industries.

“We urge both businesses and apprentices who have been affected by Covid-19 to contact us as soon as possible to see what support is available to them, and to find out how we can help them through these challenging circumstances.”

Pictured: Helen Higson


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