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Dudley Council the historic capital of the Black Country
Dudley Skyline

Creating the workforce of the future

Nearly 70 apprentices were taken on by Dudley Council last year, new figures have revealed – as local authority chiefs vowed to take on even more in 2019.

Council bosses are calling on borough businesses to follow their lead in developing their own talent.

In previous years the council has taken on apprentices in construction, horticulture and office administration – and in 2018 there were 69 new recruits who joined the council as an apprentice.

This year, the local authority will advertise a variety of apprenticeships. There will be vacancies in construction trades, housing management, social care and health, as well as the more traditional positions in customer services, business administration and business support.

As well as that, Dudley Council heads up Black Country Impact for the region, which has helped scores of young people aged between 16 and 29 into apprenticeships and the world of work. The local authority has secured funding to allow the project to continue offering support to young people across the Black Country to 2021.

Council bosses are also working closely with Connexions and Adult and Community Learning services, speaking with employers to identify the skills that are needed to fill vacancies through the use of apprenticeships.

Councillor Khurshid Ahmed, cabinet member for regeneration, planning and economic investment, said:

“Hiring apprentices helps businesses to grow their own talent by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.

“We are determined to encourage businesses to provide more opportunities for people, developing the borough’s education and skills for the future.

“The council directly employs apprentices and provides support to local residents with upskilling through apprenticeships. We are determined to tackle the barriers that may be preventing some people from becoming all they can.

“I would encourage people to get in touch with one of the services Dudley Council provides to help them gain the skills needed to take full advantage of opportunities with local businesses.”

Black Country Impact – made up of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton Councils and Black Country Talent Match - provides simple access to trusted advice and support.

Working with key partners including housing, health, transport and a range of other employers, the service specialises in helping 16 to 29 year olds to get into work through training and apprenticeships.

It works with more than 100 businesses or training providers to create attractive jobs and career prospects. The project has already helped over 6,000 people within the region and many more are to follow.

The project is receiving up to £34 million of funding, made up of £17 million from the European Social Fund and £17 million from the Youth Employment Initiative. It also receives match funding of up to £8 million from the Big Lottery Fund and other partners to ensure people across the region get the best boost into jobs possible. People aged 16 to 29 years old across the whole of Black Country can explore the support available by visiting www.dudley.gov.uk/bcimpact

In addition, the Council’s Connexions and Adult and Community Learning services are able to provide residents with information and advice about apprenticeships. Support includes helping people to register on the National Apprenticeship Service vacancy online website. They also provide access to current apprenticeship vacancies with national and local employers, and can even support with applying for an apprenticeship vacancies and provide assistance with interview techniques. Support for residents can be found at www.dudley.gov.uk/residents/learning-and-school/adult-and-community-learning

Younger people interested in apprenticeships can also find apprenticeship opportunities on the Connexions Dudley website at www.connexionsdudley.org

To keep up to date with apprenticeship opportunities at Dudley Council visit our Apprenticeship Academy site http://dudleycouncilapprenticeshipacademy.co.uk for information and to start applying by registering your interest at our key recruitment website of www.wmjobs.co.uk

Ends

Notes to editor

1.    European Social Fund – Youth Employment Initiative

The project is receiving up to £34 million of funding from the European Social Fund and Youth Employment Initiative as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions (and London intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding

2.    Black Country Impact project partners and overall funding allocation

The Black Country Impact is made up of five partners, Dudley Council, Sandwell Council, Walsall Council, Wolverhampton Council and Black Country Talent Match (Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council project funded by the Big Lottery Fund). The specific breakdown of funding for the Black Country Impact project is made up of £17 million Youth Employment Initiative funding, £17 million European Social Fund and £17 million of match funding from the five Black Country Partners (which also includes £8 million of match funds from the Big Lottery Fund). This brings the total value of Black Country Impact project to £51 million, with a completion date for activity of 31 July 2021.

3.    Big Lottery Fund – match funders of the Black Country Impact project

The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. The Big Lottery Fund is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery and invests over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes.  Since June 2004 the Big Lottery Fund has awarded over £8 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people. Every year the Big Lottery Fund funds 13,000 small local projects tackling big social problems like poor mental health and homelessness. Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £34 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded.

4.   What is the Black Country Impact

The Black Country Impact programme addresses the barriers faced by unemployed individuals aged 15-29 years, supporting them to secure positive outcomes including employment, apprenticeships, training and further education. Our individualised approach and alternative delivery structures provides flexible personalised learning and support that addresses the range of different personal and skills needs of young adults. Access to trusted advice and support, working alongside partners including housing, health, transport and employers to ensure individuals have the best possible opportunity to overcome the range of barriers they face, and to ensure they effectively participate, achieve a positive outcome and remain engaged.