Business leaders today launched a new ambition encouraging Wolverhampton companies to invest in the future of their workforce.

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The Wolverhampton Growth Pledge is an ambition for growth that sets out 5 simple actions asking companies to invest in more skills, mentor budding entrepreneurs, offer work placements to young people and the unemployed, build strong links with education and take on apprentices.

This could include businesses providing on the job training and accredited qualifications, giving advice and support to budding entrepreneurs, developing partnerships with local schools or obtaining grants to offer apprenticeships to 16 to 18 year olds.

UTC Aerospace Systems became the first employer to sign the Wolverhampton Growth Pledge and join the campaign to drive forward the ambition for growth in the city.

Councillor Phil Page, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills and Learning, said: "Wolverhampton has a clear vision of the future which is to create opportunities that encourage enterprise, empower people and re-invigorate the city.

"To get there requires that business, education and communities all work together.

"The Wolverhampton Growth Pledge aims to help drive that ambition for growth by setting out the simple actions needed to make our businesses more competitive, our people more successful and our communities more vibrant.

"I am thrilled that UTC Aerospace Systems has already signed up to the Wolverhampton Growth Pledge as it shows that our vision is already on the way to becoming a reality."

Mike Frost, Operations Director at UTC Aerospace Systems, said: "We are delighted to support the Growth Pledge and are proud to be the first Wolverhampton company to sign up for it.

"There are great benefits to businesses like ours in giving budding entrepreneurs a helping hand and ensuring the young and unemployed get the necessary skills to boost their job prospects.

"This is an excellent example of partnership working between the public and private sectors to help the city's economy."

Research, carried out by the Black Country Observatory, shows a fifth of economic growth is down to improvements in workplace skills. And just 1% increase in Wolverhampton's economy will mean an extra £43 million per year.

The Wolverhampton Growth Pledge aims to have the support of its first 100 employers by the end of the financial year 2013 to 2014.

For more information about the Wolverhampton Growth Pledge, please call 01902 550580 or email

  • released: Tuesday 24 December, 2013