What is the Greater Manchester Apprenticeship Hub?

The Greater Manchester Apprenticeship Hub brings together partners from across the city region, working together to increase the scale, breadth and quality of Apprenticeships in Greater Manchester.

The apprenticeship Hub Delivery: July 2014 – March 2017

Who’s involved?

The Hub brings together knowledge and expertise from a wide range of partners, organisations and networks with an interest in Apprenticeships. It includes (this list is non-exhaustive):

  • 10 GM local authorities
  • Careers education, information, advice and guidance providers
  • GM Chamber of Commerce
  • GM Colleges Group and its members
  • GM Learning Provider Network and its members
  • GM Combined Authority
  • National Apprenticeship Service/Skills Funding Agency
  • Higher Education Institutes
  • National Careers Service
  • GM Centre for Voluntary Organisations
  • Department for Work & Pensions
  • JobCentre Plus

How is the Hub helping us See Things Differently?

The Hub, which works on behalf of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, is delivering a £6 million City Deal programme, supported by the Education and Skills Funding Agency and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. It has four main objectives

1. Maximise employer take up of apprenticeships in GM’s key sectors

  • Deliver city-wide collaborative activities to stimulate demand for Apprenticeships and increase the number of vacancies and traineeship work placements.
  • Deliver targeted marketing and communications activities.
  • Support the public sector to provide civic leadership on Apprenticeship recruitment in Greater Manchester.
  • Build and support the capacity of employers to recruit and employ apprentices including those progressing from traineeships.

2. Improve information, advice and guidance services for young people

  • Increase the proportion of 16-18 year olds that participate in learning through Apprenticeships and Traineeships with a focus on delivering better IAG.
  • Increase the number of NEET and unemployed young people starting Apprenticeships and traineeships.
  • Tackle wider barriers to the take up of Apprenticeships and Traineeships in GM with a specific focus on transport

3. Develop the capacity of providers ensuring supply is matched to demand

  • Development of market intelligence to influence provider activity.
  • Develop provider capacity to deliver Apprenticeships at level 3+ in key sectors.
  • Improve the quality of Apprenticeship provision across GM.
  • Build the capacity of the provider base to present an integrated offer to employers and young people across GM, e.g. workforce development, employer engagement and progressing young people into Apprenticeships.

4. Supporting under-represented groups to take up an Apprenticeship

  • Working with partners to support those people who want to start an Apprenticeship a little later in their life, for example to re-enter the job market, upskill in their existing role or to change career
  • Working with partners to support the BAME Action plan to increase the uptake of Apprenticeships from the BAME community

The Hub has a delivery plan which sets out how it will meet these objectives, identifying gaps and commissioning projects which aim to ensure that high quality Apprenticeships are available which meet the needs of young people and employers, particularly in Greater Manchester’s priority growth sectors.

GM Apprenticeship Hub Delivery Plan (July 2014)

Greater Manchester Apprenticeship Hub Projects

Through Greater Manchester’s City Deal, the Greater Manchester Apprenticeship Hub has provided grant funding for a wide range of projects which support delivery of the Hub’s objectives, ranging from aspects of the careers education, information, advice and guidance agenda, to working with priority sectors, supporting young people facing challenges and barriers, and helping providers develop their capacity to deliver higher level Apprenticeships.

CONCLUDED: Better Choices

Delivery Organisation(s): CEL Leadership and Change

Project Lead: Andrea Gerrish

Contact: andrea@cel-leadershipandchange.com

This project, which is now into its third year, aims to bring about cultural change within schools around the CEIAG agenda, focusing on strategic leadership and working with managers, leaders and front-line school staff to help achieve parity for apprenticeships as a progression route.  As well as carrying out research and sharing good practice, the project delivers leadership development and training activities for school staff and governors to assist with longer term CEIAG planning, as well as developing resources and events for parents.

CONCLUDED: Capacity Building: Advanced and Higher Level Apprenticeships

Delivery Organisation(s): Various (see below)

Contact: Various (see below)

This project is supporting providers to stimulate demand for advanced and higher level apprenticeships at levels 3, 4 and 5, particularly within Greater Manchester’s priority sectors. The frameworks currently being supported through this project, together with contact details for each provider, are set out below:

L4 – IT, Software, Web and Telecoms Professionals (QCF) L4 – Creative & Digital Media Total People Ltd – Liz Clack liz.clack@totalpeople.co.uk
L5 – Leadership & Management L4 – Business Professional L4 – IT Web L5 – Care Leadership L5 – Human Resources L4 – Engineering L4 – Hospitality Bury College – Cathy Gill Cathy.Gill@burycollege.ac.uk
L3 – Human Resources (on hold pending release of Trailblazer standard) L5 – HR Management L4 – Social Media & Marketing Churchgate Academy – Judith Furlong Judith.Furlong@theskillsco.com
L5 – Leadership & Management L5 – Care Leadership L4 – Engineering Rochdale Training – Jill Nagy jnagy@rochdaletraining.onmicrosoft.com
L5 – Care Leadership & Management Babbington  – Chris Chadford chris.chadford@babingtongroup.co.uk
L4 – Creative and Digital Media Wigan Council/Media College – Matt Stockwell m.stockwell@wiganmbc.gov.uk
L4 – Interactive Design and Development Oldham College – Steve Aitkin Stephen.Aitken@oldham.ac.uk
L4 – Advanced Manufacturing Engineering SETA – Ian Burns iburns@setatraining.com
L3 – Legal Advice L3 – CPS L4 -Public Relations Damar Training Ltd Legal Services: jonathan.bourne@damartraining.com
CPS: robin.lindsay@damartraining.com
PR: linda.stokes@damartraining.com

CONCLUDED: Career Point

Delivery Organisation(s): The Skills Company

Website: http://www.careerpoint-gm.co.uk/

Project Lead: Kay Gregory

Contact: kay.gregory@careers-solutions.co.uk

This is a virtual environment for GM-wide careers and labour market information and apprenticeships, delivered by Careers Solutions Professional Support Services. It has a section for use by members of staff in school or college working with young people which includes labour market information, CPD resources and professional discussion; an area for young people which includes information on the labour market, apprenticeships and careers; and a section for parents and carers wanting to support young people in planning their careers. Training is also available for staff in schools and colleges to help them achieve a baseline understanding of progression opportunities for young people.

CONCLUDED: Care to Work (C2W)

Delivery Organisation(s): Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council

Project Lead: Andy Turner

Contact: andrew.turner@rochdale.gov.uk

The Care 2 Work project aims to support Greater Manchester’s Care Leavers into Apprenticeships, training or employment. It maps current activity around LAs’ ‘Corporate Parent’ offer and IAG services for Care Leavers who wish to enter work based learning routes. It also identifies and promotes best practice in each local authority area, and develops resources and solutions to barriers identified for these young people under a ‘Greater Manchester Care to Work’ standard. The aim of the project is to ensure a consistent, high quality approach to supporting young people leaving care throughout every LA in Greater Manchester.

Key Recommendations to date:

Greater Manchester should consider a single approach towards those in care in relation to the following areas:

  1. Availability of good quality CIAG, from specialists with knowledge of the complex issues often facing this cohort. This CIAG should extend to the private care sectors.
  1. An agreement from every LA that anyone from a care background (private or council) who is residing in their area can access their Apprenticeship, Traineeship or other training opportunities. This should not be dependent upon their home authority.
  1. That there is a dedicated position for a CIAG qualified post-holder in each LA. The post would act as the link between LA Apprenticeship and training opportunities and social workers / foster carers etc.
  1. That a GM-wide network be created by each of these post-holders, ensuring cross-border issues and opportunities are actioned swiftly and effectively.
  1. That a standardised GM-wide training programme on all post-16 pathways be delivered to all professionals involved with young people in care, including foster carers, social workers etc
  1. That accurate, high quality advice on the financial impact of an Apprenticeship be available to those in care before the application stage.
  1. That a central information source detailing what programmes are on offer for those in care in each LA, plus key contacts, is developed.
  1. That a means of promoting Apprenticeship and training opportunities in each LA is developed to ensure those in private care are informed.
  1. Subsidised travel for those in care, living independently, be made available for those accessing Apprenticeship or Traineeship opportunities.

The final report and recommendations are due in September 2016.

Digital Advantage

Delivery Organisation(s): The White Room

Website: http://thewhiteroom.co/

Project Lead: Andy Lovatt

Contact: andy.lovatt@thewhiteroom.co

This project aims to raise awareness of opportunities for careers in the digital industry, addressing acute and enduring skills gaps reported by employers and demystifying the types of skills and roles within the digital sector. Participants in 10 schools across GM will design a digital business and build relevant industry skills, along with receiving ongoing support and mentoring to establish their business following in-school initiation meetings, video pitches and a ‘pitch and prize day’. The pilot project will develop training content, tools and blended learning based on industry bootcamps and existing provision in the digital and creative industry, as well as guaranteeing participants an interview for one of 100 creative pioneers Apprenticeships in GM.

Engineering Futures

Delivery Organisation(s): Skills & Works Solutions

Website: http://engineeringfutures.org/

Project Lead: Daniel Robinson

Contact: daniel.robinson@engineeringfutures.org

Engineering Futures brings together young people, parents, schools and employers to address the lack of awareness and understanding of the Engineering & Advanced Manufacturing sector, and clearly signpost the  career paths, jobs and training opportunities available to develop and sustain meaningful relationships that benefit the local area, community and economy.

To date, we are engaged with over 50 employers and 97 secondary schools within Greater Manchester, and have inspired over 15,000 pupils about the fantastic career opportunities available within the Engineering & Advanced Manufacturing sector, and re-educated and started to change the hearts and minds of 30,000+ parents/carers.

Social Media feeds

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EngineeringExcellenceHub

Twitter: @engineering_hub

You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBSC9kODaN2hA7XOQLhsuVg

CONCLUDED: GM Apprenticeship Ambassadors

Delivery Organisation(s): Manchester City Council/Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network

Website: http://gmlpn.co.uk/our-projects/apprenticeship-ambassadors/

Project Lead: Matt Leigh

Contact: matthew.l@gmlpn.co.uk

Who better to raise awareness of Apprenticeships than apprentices themselves?

The Apprenticeship Ambassador Programme is an information service for schools in Greater Manchester. The Programme utilises real apprentices’ first-hand knowledge to present Apprenticeships as a route into a successful career.

What is an Apprenticeship Ambassador?

Apprenticeship Ambassadors visit schools and colleges to share their positive experiences. Their role is to inform and to provide an insight for all students. Ambassadors are able to deliver the information in a presentation format to groups of 30 students or they can support an information stand at a schools careers fair.

All Ambassadors receive bespoke training in order to prepare them for delivering relevant information in a professional manner to students. They describe their own positives experiences so that students can understand what it’s like to be an Apprentice.

If you could like to book an ambassador or find out more please send us an email and someone from the team will contact you.

Click here find out more and to meet some of the Apprenticeship Amabssadors. 

GM Apprenticeship Hub Apprenticeships Marketing & Communications Project

Delivery Organisation(s): Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Marketing Manchester

Website: http://theapprenticeshiphub.co.uk/

Project Lead: Anne Gornall

Contact: anne.g@gmlpn.co.uk

See Things Differently is a Greater Manchester-wide programme of marketing and communications activity which aims to transform perceptions of apprenticeships amongst young people, their influencers and employers. There are two strands of activity within the project: first, increasing apprenticeship uptake, and secondly, promoting the work of the Greater Manchester Apprenticeship Hub.

It aims to reach as many young people, employers, parents/carers and advisors, and schools, colleges and providers as possible through a coherent umbrella campaign that brings together all the existing advice, guidance and opportunities. The See Things Differently campaign is designed to motivate and inspire through a collaborative effort  which draws on the expertise and capacity of organisations already involved in promoting and delivering apprenticeships, ensuring a coherent message is communicated across GM about the opportunities that apprenticeships offer to learners and employers.

CONCLUDED: GM Apprenticeship IAG Service

Delivery Organisation(s): Positive Steps

Project Lead: Steve Murphy

Contact: inspiringiag@positive-steps.org.uk

This project provides dedicated and specialist information, advice and guidance to young people (aged 13-24 years), parents/carers and teachers on promoting and raising awareness of Apprenticeship pathways, particularly Advanced and Higher level apprenticeships in key growth sectors. The project works in partnership with Career Point to incorporate labour market information into its offer, which includes the Key103 bus, a mobile unit which tours GM’s ten local authority areas and provides an IAG resource at events and school visits.  It is a two year project run by a partnership which brings together all local targeted IAG providers, the Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network, and Key103.

CONCLUDED: The Hidden Sector

Delivery Organisation(s): GMCVO

Website: https://www.gmcvo.org.uk/stimulating-demand-apprenticeships

Project Lead: Yvonne Fox-Burmby

Contact: yvonne.fox-burmby@gmcvo.org.uk

The project seeks to increase both the number of third sector employers offering or planning to offer apprenticeships, and the number of young people undertaking apprenticeships who will in future consider a career in the third sector. Among the project’s activities are gauging more accurately the needs of third sector employers, developing communications and guidance tailored to the culture and interests of third sector SMEs, promoting the value and business benefits of employing an apprentice and the importance of exemplifying the value the third sector places on social responsibility and equality of opportunity, and holding events for a cross-section of third sector employers, providers, IAG advisers, representatives of schools and colleges and other relevant stakeholders to promote awareness of the opportunities for young people leaving school or college to undertake apprenticeships in third sector SMEs.

Hive Manchester Digital Learning Community

Delivery Organisation(s): Hive Manchester

Website: http://hivemanchester.net/

Project Lead: Damian Payton

Contact: damian.payton@hivemanchester.net

Hive Manchester is a digital learning community where young people will gain the digital skills needed to thrive in life and in work in the digital sector, focussing on activity outside the classroom such as evening clubs and youth groups.  It brings together a network of educators, tech employers and creative specialists to offer research, events (such as code clubs and design hacks), training (both helping educators to learn tech and helping technologists to learn to teach), and collaborative working between organisations to create new digital learning activity and to teach key industry skills in a fun and engaging way.

Inspiring IAG

Delivery Organisation(s): Positive Steps

Website: http://www.inspiringiag.co.uk/

Project Lead: Steve Murphy

Contact: inspiringiag@positive-steps.org.uk

Inspiring IAG is a careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) quality award, nationally validated by The Quality in Careers Standard (QiCS).  It provides a good practice framework for organisations that work with young people, which includes schools, colleges, and other learning providers. The award recognises schools and colleges which have a CEIAG offer in place which is above and beyond national minimum expectations and in line with the agreed Skills and Employment Partnership Board priorities for improving CEIAG for all young people across Greater Manchester. It is designed to help schools by conducting an audit of existing activity and measuring its effectiveness against a number of specified outcomes, including ensuring that young people and their parents/carers are aware of Apprenticeships, Higher Apprenticeships and Traineeships as a post-16 and post-18 pathway.

The project is designed to:

  • Ensure consistency and high quality careers education, information, advice and guidance across Greater Manchester schools and colleges
  • Contribute to Closing the Skills Gap agenda in Greater Manchester
  • Raise the awareness of Apprenticeships as an equal option choice for young people supporting staff in schools and colleges with information on this pathway.

Promoting Progression from Traineeships to Apprenticeships

Delivery Organisation(s): Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network

Website: http://www.gmlpn.co.uk/traineeships.php

Project Lead: Matt Leigh

Contact: matthew.l@gmlpn.co.uk

This project is developing a new approach to support Traineeship and Apprenticeship providers to deliver a greater number of high quality Traineeship opportunities and to increase the conversion rate from Traineeships to Apprenticeships. The project involves referral agencies, including JobCentre Plus, National Careers Service and IAG partners, working together to improve referral mechanisms and develop a more effective interface between providers and referral agencies, building upon GMLPN’s work to develop a Traineeships Toolkit on behalf of the Greater Manchester Apprenticeship Hub.

Search and Apply

Delivery Organisation(s): Career Connect

Project Lead: Diane Sproson

Contact: diane.sproson@careerconnect.org.uk

Career Connect, in partnership with Positive Steps and GMLPN, are delivering Search & Apply, a system which will enable young people, primarily in Year 11, to search for all post-16 learning and training opportunities, including apprenticeships, and to submit applications and expressions of interest to colleges, sixth forms and training providers in Greater Manchester via the UCAS Progress system.

CONCLUDED: Skilled & Ready

Delivery Organisation(s): Skilled & Ready

Website: https://www.skilledandready.co.uk/

Project Lead: Jane Harris

Contact: jane.harris@skilledandready.co.uk

Skilled and Ready is a fully resourced program/curriculum resource addressing the employability skills that employers say young people are lacking. It is suitable for students at KS3, KS4 and KS5. It consists of three units, which use the Confederation of British Industries list of 7 employability skills: Self-management, Teamwork, Business and customer awareness, Problem solving, Communication and literacy, Numeracy and Information Technology.

Students demonstrate how they have used CBI7 in the classroom, across all subjects, showing them how to contextualise classroom activities into the real world. Existing curriculum activities are supported by specialist lesson plans. Students upload their evidence onto an interactive webapp which can be accessed by teachers for assessment and feedback anywhere at any time. On completion of the award, students have a full understanding of employability skills, an e-portfolio of evidence of them using these skills and the ability to write a successful job application. It can be integrated into current careers education you deliver in you school or college.


Skills for Business Awards

Delivery Organisation(s): Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network

Website: http://www.skillsforbusinessawards.co.uk/

Project Lead: Louise Timperley

Contact: louise.timperley@gmchamber.co.uk

The Skills for Business Awards, delivered by GMCC, GMLPN and Greater Manchester Apprenticeship Hub in association with Pearson, is an annual event celebrating the outstanding contribution that skills and learning make to businesses across Greater Manchester.  The awards are free to enter and will recognise and celebrate:

  • Greater Manchester businesses across all sectors who invest in the training and development of their staff
  • Schools that support young people into the world of work / Apprenticeships
  • Learning providers that engage with, understand and meet the needs of businesses in the region
  • Outstanding apprentices, advanced / higher apprentices and other learners who have honed their skills and excelled as a result of the training and development they have received.

In 2015, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, via  the Hub, sponsored two awards: the Collaboration Award and the Advanced/Higher Apprentice of the Year.


Delivery Organisation(s): The Manchester College

Website: http://www.digitaldnamanchester.com/

The Manchester College received funding to engage schools in a competition around careers in the digital sector. Around 100 pupils from nine schools took part and the competition was won by pupils from the Manchester Academy, whose ‘Digital DNA’ campaign was launched earlier this year, encouraging young people and employers to get involved in apprenticeships as a route into careers within the digital sector.

CONCLUDED: The Dream Job

Delivery Organisation(s): Greater Manchester Colleges Group

Website: http://www.gmcg.ac.uk/projects/dreamjob/

This project was a competition run by the ten GM colleges for young people to secure an apprenticeship in their chosen field by describing their ‘dream job’, explaining what steps they had taken to try and achieve it so far. One winner was selected in each of Greater Manchester’s ten local authority areas and the winners are now receiving a tailored package of support on an apprenticeship in their chosen field, as well as £250 to help with costs associated with their apprenticeship, such as travel, clothes or equipment.  The ten winners’ progress will be followed and reported on the GMCG website.

Pathways to Productivity

Delivery Organisation(s): the Greater Manchester Apprenticeship Company

Project Lead: Helen Hawxwell

Contact: helen.hawxwell@theskillsco.com

Pathways to Productivity is a new project to encourage more young people already studying in further education to take up an apprenticeship. It is being delivered by a new strategic partnership called The Greater Manchester Apprenticeship Company (GMAC), consisting of Bolton College, Bury College, Hopwood Hall College, Oldham College, Salford City College, Stockport College, Tameside College and Trafford College from the Greater Manchester Colleges Group, plus training provider The Skills Company. This unique collaboration is pooling their knowledge and expertise to develop brand new resources and support for their existing learners aged 16-24 – inspiring more of these young people to take up an apprenticeship in their chosen career and accelerating apprenticeship growth in Greater Manchester.

Central to the project is the creation of a new careers portal focused on apprenticeships. ‘THIS IS ME’ is each student’s online apprenticeship guru, available 24-7 with all the support they need to prepare for their future. The site includes helpful tips and words of wisdom from employers, a video-based mock interview feature, and an ‘elevator pitch’ builder to help students ace that important interview.

The project and partnership launched on 27th June 2016, and the new resources for staff and students across the partnership launched in September 2016. To find out more, contact Programme Manager Helen Hawxwell on helen.hawxwell@theskillsco.com; or 07540 160958

CONCLUDED: Apprenticeship IAG

Delivery Organisation(s): Positive Steps

Project Lead: Donna Graham

The GM Apprenticeship IAG Project is designed to provide additional support for young people in relation to the Apprenticeship option. We deliver a range of classroom based workshops for different year groups which culminated in an awareness session for Students and Parents. The session cover key points such as:

–   Raising Participation

–   Apprenticeships as a potential pathway to the future

–   Myth busting/Challenging apprenticeship stereotypes

–   Apprenticeship levels and vocational options

–   Sources of Information


The session was well received by students and parents:

“Helped me and my son to understand the value of apprenticeships.” (Parent)

“Found out information which I didn’t really know. Very useful presentation.” (Year 10 pupil)

“Very informative. Good awareness of routes into apprenticeships.” (Parent)


GMLPN have created a Greater Manchester Traineeship Toolkit which can be used to inform Training Providers, Young People and Referral Agencies on the Traineeship offer.

To view the online version of the toolkitClick Here.

The Toolkit:

  • Demonstrates best practice for providers including the use of assessment methods, curriculum content and sustainable employment opportunities;
  • Highlights to referral agencies what Traineeships are, who they’re for and how they fit within the skills agenda.

It comprises of:

  • Case studies,
  • Examples of best practice with regards to employer engagement,
  • Examples of how providers develop progression routes from Traineeships to Apprenticeships and
  • Guidance material.

Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge for Schools

Delivery Organisation(s): GMLPN

Project Lead: Matt Leigh

Contact: matthew.l@gmlpn.co.uk

Our Offer

We are offering a range of inspirational and engaging Apprenticeship and Traineeship support to all schools for students in years 10, 11, 12 and 13.

Depending on the schools’ needs we deliver a combination of any of the sessions described below:

  • Bespoke workshop providing an overview of Apprenticeships
  • Registration sessions on the Find an Apprenticeship website
  • Application Support on the Find an Apprenticeship website
  • Overview of Apprenticeship in assemblies, parents/options evenings, teacher training sessions

Where possible, we have Apprenticeship Ambassadors to support the session thereby adding value for the benefit of the students.

If you are a school or college that would like us to come in and deliver an Apprenticeship session, please contact Matt Leigh: T: 0161 654 1508 M: 07530 075650 @: matthew.l@gmlpn.co.uk.

Stimulating Employer Demand for Apprenticeships

Delivery Organisation(s): Business Growth Hub

Project Lead: Adrian Healy

Contact: adrian.healy@manchestergrowth.co.uk

The joint-led project has a dual purpose: to gather intelligence and to challenge perceptions. Business Growth Hub and GMCC need Greater Manchester’s small business community to inform them of what works and what doesn’t work with apprenticeships currently, but they also want to help small businesses learn about the potential for high-value return on investment in an apprentice.

SEDA will diagnose how the new Apprenticeship Standards can support business growth in the region. Officers working on the project will also be on hand to provide impartial advice, and help businesses identify opportunities for creating apprenticeships. These opportunities will be referred to local colleges and training providers.