More apprenticeship skills academies could open in West Midlands following Birmingham launch

From left: West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, Ladder for Greater Birmingham chairman Kevin Davis and Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP chief executive Henriette Breukelaar open the new Ladder Skills Academy in Birmingham
Partner in Ladder for Greater Birmingham campaign says further hubs could launch in the region where people can learn more about apprenticeship career options

More new skills academies showcasing the opportunities offered by apprenticeships could open across the West Midlands following the launch of a hub in Birmingham.

The Ladder Skills Academy launched for business in the city centre last week and will offer people the chance to attend information sessions and gain some hand-on experience in mocked-up workplaces such as a shop, café kitchen and dental surgery.

Now, one of the partners behind the project says similar facilities could open elsewhere in the region following the launch in Birmingham to mark National Apprenticeship Week.

Rob Colbourne is chief executive of West Midlands training provider Performance Through People, one of the partners of the Ladder for Greater Birmingham apprenticeship campaign which has also spearheaded the new skills academy, in Mill Street.

He said: “This have-a-go hub provides young people with the opportunity to experience a working environment and the jobs carried out in a wide range of sectors before they decide on their future career.

“We are also being provided with a room at the Library of Birmingham as well as support from companies like (Spar owner) AF Blakemore, the Metropolis training restaurant, Angels Day Nursery and many others.

Potential careers

“Our plan is to open more hubs like this in the Black Country and Staffordshire. There’s nothing else like this, offering people choice and unbiased information and guidance on potential careers.”

The Ladder for Greater Birmingham campaign was launched in 2018 by a team of partners from across the region, with financial backing from Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) and BusinessLive publisher Reach plc as media partner.

Its initial aim was to create 1,000 new apprenticeships by connecting job seekers with employers and training providers.

It has since surpassed the 3,000 mark and last week a fourth round of funding worth £50,000 was committed by GBSLEP to the Ladder campaign.

It is also a partner in our annual apprenticeship awards which last took place in November. Other Ladder initiatives have been run in the Black Country, Shropshire and Staffordshire and a new Ladder School opened in Walsall last year.

Funding for the skills academy was also provided by GBSLEP and match funding by Oldbury-based training provider BCTG Group.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street attended the official launch of the Ladder Skills Academy.

Read more on BirminghamLive here.

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