By Daniel Hunter
EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, and Hugh Baird College Liverpool, are joining forces to boost the number of apprenticeships being offered by local employers and to secure world class skills for Liverpool’s future engineers.
The move is timely with two-thirds of UK manufacturers expected to be recruiting apprentices this year.
The partnership kicks-off with a free event at the college on Wednesday 29 April where the region’s army of engineering and manufacturing firms can find out more about apprenticeships, technical skills and the types of training funding available to them.
The event, ‘Growing your workforce — the next generation of engineering apprentices’ aims to provide information and support for local businesses whether thinking of hiring their first apprentice or looking to improve or expand their current apprenticeship programmes.
Employers will be able to tap into EEF’s years’ of expertise of building and managing apprenticeship programmes. They will also be able to view Hugh Baird’s College’s facilities, meet with people currently studying there, find out about the college’s exceptional success rates and support mechanisms and hear what Ofsted thought when they inspected the college in February this year.
Companies will be able to find out how an apprentice programme could benefit their business, meet experienced trainers, enjoy a guided tour of the training facilities and receive advice on addressing skills gaps within their business.
The organisers say that such support is critical for making more local firms feel confident about apprenticeships and their ability to offer opportunities to local young people.
Bob Gearey, Apprentices and Skills Manager at EEF, said: “Boosting the number of apprenticeships in the region is a win-win for local business, young people and the economy. But managing an apprenticeship programme can be tough, time consuming and complex and it’s clear that many businesses would benefit from support.
“By joining forces with Hugh Baird College we can update the region’s manufacturers on qualifications, funding, skills development and recruiting the right calibre of apprentices. This expertise will be key in helping them put successful apprenticeship schemes in place and providing local young people with even greater opportunities.”
Paula Rowland, Director of Engineering and Construction at Hugh Baird College, said: “Engineering and manufacturing is a massive growth area for Liverpool City Region. Having a strong, skilled, local workforce is critical to its ongoing success, which is why the number and quality of apprenticeships is key.
“By joining forces with EEF we can give local employers all the support, encouragement and expertise they need to take on more apprentices and realise their ambitions in this field.”
Simon Reid, Sector Manager for Advanced Manufacturing at Liverpool LEP, said: “Manufacturing is a significant employer in the Liverpool City Region, employing just under 50,000 people and making a £3.2 billion pound contribution to the LCR economy.
“Currently one in three of the manufacturing workforce is over 50 years of age, whilst only 11% is aged between 16 and 25 years. Initiatives like this one between EEF and Hugh Baird College are vitally important in addressing this imbalance and I wish them every success in the venture.”