Ladder Skills Academy ready to help Birmingham workforce prepare for next career steps

Sep 12, 2023 | Ladder News, News

Our new Birmingham skills academy is offering free practical “have a go” sessions for schools, students, the unemployed and those looking to change jobs to help them take the next career step.

As the new academic year begins and students continue to look at their options after receiving their GCSE and A-level results, the Ladder Skills Academy, in Mill Street, Aston, is in place to support those looking to make the next step in their career path.

Launched this year, the Academy works with people aged between 16 and 29, including those leaving school at the start of their career, upskilling or looking for a work change, to help them make the right choice.

Visitors can undertake a variety of have-a-go sessions in career options including health and social care, early years care, retail, hospitality, engineering, oral care, manufacturing, business and professional services, construction plus IT and digital.

The Ladder Skills Academy team are looking for schools and colleges to book up visits, where students can find out more about the opportunities on show and have a go at related work tasks.

Employer engagement

They are also looking for employer partners to come on board to engage with visitors as part of their recruitment outreach programmes. Training partners who want to meet and work with learners through the Academy are also encouraged to get involved.

Operating as a multi-use space, the Academy partners with leading local businesses and individuals to focus on supporting unemployed people into employment and training, engaging local businesses and providing a job matching service.

The building was refurbished to create learning hubs, where visitors can have a go and meet a variety of experts to get information on the options available to them on a one-to-one basis.

Ladder Manager Justine Johnson said the Academy was delivering on its goal of helping visitors make informed career choices.

She said: “The Ladder Skills Academy is making a big impact in helping learners and unemployed people into employment and training, while engaging local businesses and providing a job matching service, so we want to hear from more people wanting to take up the offer.

“The feedback from learners, educators and employers has been very positive, as we have broken new ground for people to meet to share information in a permanent place, rather than a one-off event or exhibition. By working together we can ensure more people make the right step into work.”

Official opening

The academy launch is the latest success from the Ladder for Greater Birmingham partnership, which has created more than 3,000 new apprenticeships across Birmingham and Solihull since 2018, following successful campaigns in the Black Country, Staffordshire, Coventry and Warwickshire, and Shropshire.

The Ladder Skills Academy opened in February, after receiving £273,000 of funding through the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) Recycled Growing Places Fund, which was match funded with nearly £100,000 by various partners.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street joined the official opening of the Ladder Skills Academy, with Henriette Breukelaar, Chief Executive of GBSLEP, and Kevin Davis, Chairman of Ladder Foundation.

At the launch, Henriette Breukelaar, Chief Executive of GBSLEP, said: “The Ladder Academy is here to help people of all ages looking to gain the skills and experience they need to secure good quality jobs with local businesses.

“Through the Academy, schools, colleges, training partners and employers can help to shape a skilled workforce to help local employers grow in the difficult economic climate.”

Ladder Foundation Chairman Kevin Davis said: “The Academy offers a wealth of opportunities for employment and training so we encourage educators, businesses and training partners to get involved to help as many people as possible with their next career steps.”

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