A new employer led City of Wolverhampton Apprenticeship Group has been launched.

It is comprised of representatives from local industry, the West Midlands Combined Authority, Black Country Chamber of Commerce and the City of Wolverhampton Council.

The aim of the group is to raise the number of people choosing the apprenticeship route by increasing engagement with residents and schools, promoting apprenticeships as a positive career choice, and educating local businesses on new legislation, such as the apprenticeship levy and new apprenticeship standards.

Employers held the first of their quarterly meetings last month and will provide a single, clear voice for local employers at regional and national level.

Mark Hince, Moog UK Resourcing Lead, said: “The first meeting of the City of Wolverhampton Apprenticeship Group was a great opportunity to meet with likeminded people who are vested in growing the apprenticeship footprint within the local area.”

Paul Fellows, Marston’s Plc Chef Development Apprenticeships Lead, added: “Working in our individual industries we, more often, than not, deal only with the challenges that affect our business. 

Meeting with other sectors will allow me to hear about the challenges faced by the other attendees and understand how they approach and deal with these challenges.

“In turn I can look at my own challenges with greater understanding and implement ideas that will drive improved quality apprenticeships.

“We are committed to continuously attracting new people to our apprenticeship programmes, both through entry level and as part of progression pathways.”

City of Wolverhampton Council Strategic Organisational Development and Apprenticeship Lead, Paula Warrilow, said: “We are absolutely committed to raising the profile of apprenticeships as a positive career route and increase the number of residents accessing apprenticeships in the city.

“The new Wolverhampton Apprenticeship Group is a great platform for employers to lead on increasing engagement with residents and schools, sharing best practice and educating local businesses on the benefits of having apprentices.”

David Pearson, Liberty HG STEM Ambassador Group HSE/HR Services Manager, added: “We think this is a great initiative and we are looking to participate fully in the group and hope to raise the profile of apprenticeships across the city and region.”

Anybody from City of Wolverhampton based businesses, large or small, interested in joining this group should email Paula.Warrilow@wolverhampton.gov.uk or Joseph.Burley@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Representatives from Moog, US Collins Aerospace, Liberty HG, Marston’s and A.F. Blakemore and Sons will also be supporting a series of bi-monthly business breakfasts for local employers dealing with new developments in the apprenticeship sector and providing an opportunity for employers to network and share best practice. 

The first business breakfast will be held at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Lichfield Street, on Wednesday 17 April, with a focus on the apprenticeship levy. 

Marston’s will present at this free event, sharing their approach to making the levy work for their business. 

To attend, register your interest at Eventbrite.