Apprentices studying at Trafford College got to meet with Skills and Apprenticeship Minister Anne Milton when she visited to launch a new pilot project aimed at increasing under-represented groups in apprenticeships.
Nadeem Alli, Raquel Paa, Janak Patel and Bilal Sadique, all advanced apprentices in pharmacy services with the NHS and training at the College, joined the Minister, along with Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and Trafford Council Leader Sean Anstee to launch The ‘5 Cities Project’ at Trafford College earlier this month.
The project will see the National Apprenticeship Service work with partners in Greater Manchester, as well as the London, Bristol, Birmingham and Leicester areas, to promote the take-up of apprenticeships among under-represented groups, including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said: “I’m thrilled by the strong support we have received for this project. It’s great to be working together on our drive to make sure that everyone, whatever their background, can get onto an apprenticeship at whatever level suits them.
“Apprenticeships are a great route into skilled employment and allow people to earn while they learn. We want it to be easy as possible to get on an apprenticeship, so that everyone can benefit from the excellent career prospects that apprenticeships offer.”
Student Bilal Sadique, who is studying an Advanced Apprentice in Pharmacy Services with the NHS and training with Trafford College, said: “The visit from the Minister and Mayor was very informative and really reaffirmed the benefits that studying an apprenticeship and a structured career path can bring.”
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “We want Greater Manchester to be known for its fairness, equality and inclusion – a place where that everyone can get on in life and get into work, whatever your circumstances, background or aspirations. That’s why I’m proud that Greater Manchester is part of a pilot that’s going to celebrate the diversity of our city-region.
“We’ve already had initial discussions with employers – including some national household names – who are committed to working together to make sure that our workforces are more representative of the communities we serve. Those employers and communities will be a crucial part of shaping how the pilot will work in Greater Manchester, and we’re looking forward to getting started.”