The 2015 UKCES labour force survey indicated that in the Black Country 66% of employers reporting a skills shortage vacancy indicated that technical, practical and job specific skills were an issue and that skilled trades are most likely to experience hard to fill vacancies.

An Apprenticeship is an optimum way of a person gaining these skills.

The Government aspires to have one in five 16-18 year olds in apprenticeship programmes by 2020.

Currently 1 in 11 young people in the Black Country are following this path.  The government is committed to 3,000,000 apprenticeship starts in the UK  in the 2015 – 2020 period.

There  has been c13,000 Apprenticeship starts across the Black Country every year since 2012/13 with small variations each year. The Black Country LEP (BCLEP) recognise that the region needs to significantly increase the number of apprenticeships undertaken in the Black Country, especially at higher levels.

BCLEP has set the following targets:

  • To increase overall annual Apprenticeship starts to 23,000 by 2030
  • To increase % of population with Level 4+ qualifications from 23% to 36% by 2030

  • To increase the number of high value manufacturing apprenticeships by 1,500 by 2020 (more than doubling the current annual numbers).  This is the commitment made under the City Deal.

To help achieve these targets the BCLEP has and is undertaking a number of actions:

  • Use the Local Growth Deal to help fund equipment in FE colleges and private training providers to fill key gaps in training equipment and provision
  • The establishment of the Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills to provide apprenticeships (from 2017) in key sectors of manufacturing industry where there is currently no provision or equipment.

For further information, please contact Colin Parker on 01384 471112.