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As part of National Apprenticeship Week 2017, the Black Country Impact is raising awareness of apprenticeships as a ladder of opportunity for young adults in the region.

National apprenticeship week runs from March 6 to March 12 and this year marks the 10th year. As such, it will bring together employers and apprentices from across England to celebrate the success of apprenticeships over the last decade and will seek to encourage even more people to choose apprenticeships as a fast-track to a great career.

Councillor Pete Lowe, Leader of Dudley Council, said:

“There has never been a better time to employ an apprentice or a trainee. Hiring apprentices helps businesses to grow their own talent by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.

“The Black Country Impact combines these benefits with a range of tailored service to help both 16 to 29-year-olds across the region and local employers. The bottom line is that young people within our borough and wider benefit from improved employment prospects.”

The objective of National Apprenticeship Week 2017 (NAW 2017) is to increase awareness and take-up of apprenticeships and traineeships by recognising apprenticeships as a ladder of opportunity to a brighter future and showing that they are available for all.

The Black Country Impact project has only been possible due to the financial support of the European Union’s European Social Fund and Youth Employment Initiative, and further funding through Talent Match funders, the Big Lottery Fund. In total, funders have enabled a package of up to £51 million to be made available for young adults across the Black Country.

If you’re interested in apprenticeships or taking on a visit www.dudley.gov.uk/bcimpact or call 01384 811477


Notes to editors

  • National Apprenticeship Week is co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service and is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy. The National Apprenticeship Service is part of the Skills Funding Agency, which is an executive agency of DfE. They co-ordinate and promote the delivery of apprenticeships in England.

Data were taken from the DfE Apprenticeship Core Brief – November 2016:

  • So far 624,000 apprenticeship starts have been reported since May 2015
  • Apprenticeships are available in 1,500 job roles, covering more than 170 industries
  • Employers say that qualified apprentices are 15% more employable than those with other qualifications
  • Apprenticeships enable businesses to grow their skills base resulting in increased profits, lower prices and better products
  • Traineeships offer small businesses an opportunity to help build a pool of high- quality future recruits for their sector
  • A quarter of former apprentices had been promoted (23%) within 12 months of finishing
  • For more information on the national campaign visit https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/national-apprenticeshipweek-2017/about

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 the activity of 31 July 2018.

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 provide flexible personalised learning and support that addresses the range of different personalities 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.