Apprenticeships - a route out of youth unemployment

Apprenticeships - a route out of youth unemployment

11 Feb 2021

Over 22,000 16-24 years old are claiming unemployment allowance within the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP area – higher than both the overall West Midlands and National averages.

We have one of the youngest populations, and Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on this part of our society. As the pandemic took hold last year a large number of apprenticeships came to a halt. In addition, the retail and hospitality industry, which employs a lot of our young people, has suffered hugely.

Prince’s Trust research shows 41% of young people believe their future goals now seem “impossible to achieve”, with this rising to 50% of those surveyed from poorer backgrounds. Here at GBSLEP we see our local young people as a vital asset and believe apprenticeships and relevant skills training for them is an integral part of our road to economic recovery.

GBSLEP has set up several initiatives to connect employers with young people and they are being delivered through the newly formed Skills and Apprenticeship Hub.

The Skills and Apprenticeship Hub is bringing innovative and forward-thinking businesses together with high quality providers in order to identify what skills are needed in the workplace, so that appropriate training can be put in place. This partnership model will create a sustainable pipeline to employment for people of all ages.

The Skills Hub is also working with the Speakers for Schools charity to facilitate virtual work experience, and a pilot youth card is on its way to incentivise young people to take part. In addition, 50 applications to the Government’s Kickstart scheme have been supported since The Skills and Apprenticeship Hub was set up in November 2020, a reflection of our commitment to enabling young people to find employment. We are referring SMEs to Kickstart gateways who can act on behalf of employers by batching together applications and submitting them to the Department for Work and Pensions. We are also planning placements for young people to come and work with us here at GBSLEP. As a LEP we are working with our private, public and academic partners to create opportunities for the economy to grow in our region and much of the work we do is business led.

During National Apprenticeship Week 2021 we are encouraging businesses in the GBSLEP region to recruit talented individuals and give them an opportunity to get their foot in the door following a tough year. Our young people are the future workforce and investing in them now will ensure we can drive inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the region, as we move through, and out of the current pandemic.

- Professor Helen Higson, Chair of the GBSLEP Employment and Skills Board

GBSLEP Skills Hub Contact: Helpline 0800 032 488 or Email: