National First For Apprenticeships

Today sees the launch of a new partnership between ten leading further education and skills providers in Greater Manchester to accelerate the uptake of apprenticeships in the region.

The ground breaking partnership, which will be known as the Greater Manchester Apprenticeship Company (GMAC), consists of nine colleges from the Greater Manchester Colleges Group, plus leading training provider The Skills Company. This unique collaboration will pool their knowledge and expertise to develop brand new resources and support – inspiring more students to take up an apprenticeship in their chosen career and accelerating apprenticeship growth in Greater Manchester.

Central to the partnership is the creation of a new careers portal focussed on apprenticeships. ‘THIS IS ME’will be each student’s online apprenticeship guru, available 24-7 with all the support they need to prepare for their future. The site will include helpful tips and words of wisdom from employers, a video-based mock interview feature, and an ‘elevator pitch’ builder to help students ace that important interview.

Funded through the Greater Manchester Apprenticeship Hub City Deal programme on behalf of GMCA, the partnership, alongside a range of other projects will contribute to GM’s Apprenticeship Strategy and ambition to drive the quality and volume of apprenticeship opportunities through the provision of excellent support and advice to young people.

Jayne Worthington, Managing Director of The Skills Company said: “There were almost 80,000 new apprentices in the North West in 2014/15, the highest of any region in the UK, and Greater Manchester is the real driving force at the heart of this apprenticeship revolution through its innovative Devolution deals and collaborative approach to driving up the standard of apprenticeships. The creation of this partnership demonstrates Greater Manchester’s absolute commitment to increasing the number of apprenticeships nationally to 3 million by 2020.”

Marie Gilluley, Principal and Chief Executive at Bolton College added "Further education colleges have a crucial role to play in supporting young people to invest in their skills. This partnership signals an unprecedented way of working; by pooling our expertise we will ensure our students across Greater Manchester have all the resources they need at their fingertips, to enable them to access a quality apprenticeship, progress in their chosen career and achieve their aspirations."