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Apprenticeships a ‘great investment’ amid recruitment crisis

Apprenticeship programmes in Greater Manchester are being hailed as a valuable investment for businesses at a time when recruitment challenges have reached their highest levels on record.

In recognition of National Apprenticeship Week 2023, Greater Manchester is running a series of events in February showcasing how apprenticeships are helping to contribute towards lifelong learning and the benefits they can have on individuals and local businesses.

Local programmes such as those delivered by the Growth Company are helping employers across a range of industries to develop talent in people of any age, from school leavers to those retraining in new careers – such as 34 year-old Rochelle Pilgrim, a joinery apprentice who won Made in Manchester’s Apprentice of the Year award earlier in February.

Other Greater Manchester based programmes include the University of Salford’s innovative one-year ‘top up’ engineering degree for apprentices, co-designed and co-delivered with Siemens Digital Industries. Launched in 2017, the course recently celebrated upskilling 100 engineers across 38 different global companies and SMEs – including Vince Goodall (pictured), who now works as a field-service engineer for Siemens.

Cllr Eamonn O’Brien, Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) Lead for Education, Work, Skills, Apprenticeships and Digital, said:

“Apprenticeships are a hugely important part of our vision for making Greater Manchester one of the best places in the world to grow up, get on and grow old. Apprenticeships are a great asset to any company; I encourage employers to think about creating apprenticeship positions and help develop the skills of Greater Manchester’s future workforce.”

According to research by the British Chambers of Commerce, more than 8 in 10 UK firms attempting to recruit in Q4 2022 reported recruiting difficulties – the highest level on record. Firms in the manufacturing sector are the second-most likely to face challenges when recruiting (85 per cent), just behind the hospitality sector (87 per cent).


More information on apprenticeships for employers is available on the GMCA website.


Greater Manchester SMEs are also encouraged to speak to our expert Manufacturing Team to discover how developing talent can alleviate skills shortages and boost productivity.

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