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.

In Greater Manchester, we see apprenticeships differently because we recognise the contribution and opportunities they bring to city region – its people and its businesses. Here, organisations work together to ensure all apprenticeship opportunities are of the highest quality. We consider ourselves exemplars for apprenticeship employment, providing a wide range of opportunities to develop skills and improve business productivity.


Our vision is that:

  • Greater Manchester will lead the way in apprenticeship employment, providing quality opportunities for learning and development.
  • More of our employers than ever before will see the contribution that high quality, sustainable apprenticeships can make to their business and their workforce.
  • Our residents will be inspired and supported to make decisions about how an apprenticeship can support their personal and professional development.
  • In Greater Manchester, apprenticeships create more and better opportunities for anyone looking to develop their career at any time.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s work to improve the quality and grow the numbers of apprenticeships focuses on these 7 key areas:

  • Removing Barriers – Key to providing high-quality apprenticeship opportunities for all is to remove barriers to apprenticeships. We have a number of projects underway including:
    • Ensuring there are no barriers for BAME people accessing apprenticeships. We are part of the national “5 Cities Project” and are working with employers, providers and individuals to ensure Greater Manchester has a diverse apprenticeship workforce. View the BAME Employer Resource.
    • A transport offer for apprentices to ensure transport isn’t a barrier.
    • A call for project proposals from across the public, private and VCSE sectors to pilot, through a test and learn approach is currently being evaluated. A number of projects will support small cohorts of under-represented learners to remove identified and evidenced barriers to apprenticeships
    • Apprenticeships also aren’t just for young people. Re-training, improving your skills, or pursuing a new career can all be achieved by undertaking an apprenticeship programme. Working with the Greater Manchester Ageing Hub we are promoting apprenticeships as an opportunity for anyone, at any age, to develop or change direction.
  • Supporting SMEs – Across GM, we are working to support and encourage SME’s to recruit apprentices. Through support with workforce planning to highlight where apprentices could fit in with the business (web link) and a levy matchmaking service.
  • Maximizing the levy impact – Working with levy-paying employers to better support apprenticeship programmes, maximize levy investment back into businesses and the wider Greater Manchester community, and ensure there are opportunities to develop our future talent. We’d like to work with you to pilot different approaches, flexible apprenticeships, and create clusters of high-quality apprenticeships within your sector. Maximising the levy impact
  • Public sector apprenticeship approach – We have been working closely with our colleagues across local authorities, NHS, police, fire and transport services to ensure apprenticeships are at the heart of the public sector, and we are maximising the investment made to create Greater Manchester’s future leaders. For more information on this work contact Philip.Pennill@greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk.
  • Improving quality – Providers and employers working together can create the highest quality apprenticeship programs tailored to directly meet business needs. Understanding labour market information and translating this into an apprenticeship context, brokering conversations between the two, will lead to the provision we really need.We want apprentices to have the best experience, setting them up for the next stages of their career. To this end, we have developed a set of criteria that highlights what a good employer of apprentices in Greater Manchester looks like.
  • Providing information and advice – GMACS (web link) is a newly launched careers platform for young people across GM, highlighting apprenticeship and other opportunities for them to develop their career. Through our Apprentice Ambassadors (web link) (the real face of Greater Manchester apprentices), the #SeeDifferent campaigns, and business engagement such as Bridge GM, we want to sure that everyone has the information they need to make a positive choice and understand if an apprenticeship could be right for them.
  • Tackling Skills Gaps – As we develop our Local Industrial Strategy, and better understand the future skills needs for the city region, we want to ensure that the right apprenticeship provision is in place for all occupations. Our Industry Skills Intelligence team are working with employers in GM’s priority sectors to understand skills gaps and future talent requirements.

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 impartial Apprenticeship information and support to all schools in Greater Manchester for students in years 10, 11, 12 and 13.

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

  • Assembly or workshop providing an overview of Apprenticeships
  • Registration sessions on the Find an Apprenticeship website
  • Recruitment Process Support
  • Teacher Sessions
  • Information stands or presentation to parents at evening events

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

During the summer term of 2019-20 academic term we are able to offer some of these sessions virtually either as a recorded webinar or as a live interactive session.

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.

Bridge GM

What is Bridge GM?

We want Greater Manchester to be a successful and prosperous region for future generations, to do this we need to nurture the talents of our young people and connect and prepare them for the exciting opportunities in the labour market.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority is growing the largest network of business, education leaders and careers professionals to provide young people with a careers programme fit for the 21st Century.

No one business, school/college or individual can achieve this alone. GMCA believes that bringing everyone together with one common purpose will increase the chance of success for all of our young people.

Bridge is the engagement tool that underpins this ambition.

Click here to visit the website and to find out more.

GM Apprenticeship Ambassadors

Delivery Organisation(s): 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 mobiles real apprentices to share their positive apprenticeship experience with young people, parents, teachers, employers, potential apprentices and other stakeholders across Greater Manchester. Ambassadors can deliver presentations, support apprenticeship information stands at careers events and participate in Q&A events.

Around 90% of ambassador activity takes place in schools and colleges where ambassadors engage with young people in assemblies, classrooms and at careers events.

All ambassadors receive bespoke training in order to prepare them for delivering relevant information in a professional manner.

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

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

GM Apprenticeship Hub Apprenticeships Marketing & Communications Project

Delivery Organisation(s): Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network

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

Project Lead: Charlotte Cookson

Contact: charlotte.c@gmlpn.co.uk

#SEEDIFFERENT 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.

It aims to reach as many young people, employers, parents/carers and advisors, and schools, colleges and providers as possible through an active website and engaging social media channels that brings together all the existing advice and opportunities across GM.  The #SEEDIFFERENT 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.

The project works closely with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority including all 10 Local Authorities and other key GMCA projects such as GMCAS and Bridge GM.

Local Authoritiy Initiatives


Apprenticeship vacancies at Manchester City Council

The main vacancies page for Manchester City Council regularly advertises apprenticeship vacancies. On the left side of the page, choose All Job Category from the list, to see the latest apprenticeship vacancies.

Digital Her with Code Nation Junior Developer Scholarships for Women 2020

All Digital Her scholars will receive a fast track guaranteed place at the Manchester Digital Software Development Apprenticeship Programme assessment day, where you will get the opportunity to meet tech employers looking to hire. Find out more here.

Our Town Hall Apprenticeships

Read about apprenticeships at Our Town Hall project


SharpFutures is a social enterprise that supports diverse young people into employment in the creative digital and tech sectors. By offering a range of interventions including Apprenticeships, Work Experience and Volunteering, SharpFutures nurture the transition into work.

M Futures

M-Futures is a partnership between Manchester City Council, ManLife, The Manchester College, Total People and a range of leading employers. To read more about their apprenticeship programme, which links into the Our Town Hall Project

The Factory Academy

In 2019 Manchester International Festival (MIF) launched The Factory Academy Training Scheme; open to unemployed young people (aged 19-24) from Manchester, not qualified above Level 3. The 8 week Traineeship provided experience of a variety of practical and development skills, including a three-week work placement, hosted by a network of cultural organisations in the city.

Following the eight-week course, the trainees have the chance to apply for a Creative Venue Technician apprenticeship.


Are you a business with a base in Wigan borough who’s considering recruiting a manufacturing; engineering; digital or construction apprentice? If so, Wigan Council’s Apprenticeships for Young People (AYP) programme is still open to applications and you could benefit from a grant of up to £5,000.

For more details, visit Wigan Council’s website here; email business@wigan.gov.uk or phone 07795 953145.

Apprentice Travel Offer – TFGM

Delivery Organisation(s): Transport for Greater Manchester

Website: TfGM Personal travel choices for apprentices

Project Lead: TfGM

Contact: access@tfgm.com | 0161 2441984

TfGM offers support to apprentices on their commute to work with a free and reduced price ticket offer, or a free bike.

To apply you will need to be an apprentice, within the first six months of your training, and live within Greater Manchester. You can only take part once during your apprenticeship.

To find out more and apply view, Personal travel choices for apprentices


Concluded Projects

Apprenticeship IAG

he GM Apprenticeship IAG Project was designed to provide additional support for young people in relation to the Apprenticeship option. A range of classroom based workshops were developed and delivered 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 and other sources of information,

Better Choices

The project aimed 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.  The project carried out research and shared good practice, the project delivered 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.

Capacity Building: Advanced and Higher Level Apprenticeships

This project supported providers to stimulate demand for advanced and higher level apprenticeships at levels 3, 4 and 5, particularly within Greater Manchester’s priority sectors. 

Career Point

This project provided a virtual environment for GM-wide careers and labour market information and apprenticeships, delivered by Careers Solutions Professional Support Services. It included 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 included information on the labour market, apprenticeships and careers; and a section for parents and carers that wanted to support young people in planning their careers. Training was also available for staff in schools and colleges to help them achieve a baseline understanding of progression opportunities for young people.

Care to Work (C2W)

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

Digital Advantage

The project aimed 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 designed a digital business and built 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 developed 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

Engineering Futures brought 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. Click here to view the Engineering Futures YouTube Channel

GM Apprenticeship IAG Service

The project provided 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 worked in partnership with Career Point to incorporate labour market information into its offer, which included the Key103 bus, a mobile unit which toured GM’s ten local authority areas and provided an IAG resource at events and school visits.  It was two year project run by a partnership which brought together all local targeted IAG providers, the Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network, and Key103.

The Hidden Sector

The project seeked to increase both the number of third sector employers offering or planning to offer apprenticeships, and the number of young people undertaking apprenticeships who would have considered a future career in the third sector. Some of the project’s objectives  were to gauge more accurately the needs of third sector employers, develop communications and guidance tailored to the culture and interests of third sector SMEs, promote 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. It also held 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

Hive Manchester was a digital learning community to help young people develop the digital skills needed to thrive in life and in work in the digital sector, with a focus on activity outside the classroom such as evening clubs and youth groups.  It brought 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

Inspiring IAG was a careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) quality award, nationally validated by The Quality in Careers Standard (QiCS).  It provided a good practice framework for organisations that work with young people, which includes schools, colleges, and other learning providers. The award recognised 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 helped schools and other organisations by conducting an audit of the current 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.

Pathways to Productivity

Pathways to Productivity project aim was to encourage more young people already studying in further education to take up an apprenticeship. It was being delivered 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 pooled together 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.

Promoting Progression from Traineeships to Apprenticeships

This project aimed to develop 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 involved referral agencies, including JobCentrePlus, 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

Career Connect, in partnership with Positive Steps and GMLPN, delivered the Search & Apply project, a system which will aimed to 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.

Skilled & Ready

Skilled and Ready was a fully resourced program/curriculum resource that addressed the employability skills that employers say young people are lacking. It was aimed at students at KS3, KS4 and KS5. It consisted 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.

Skills for Business Awards

The Skills for Business Awards, delivered by GMCC, GMLPN and Greater Manchester Apprenticeship Hub in association with Pearson, was an annual event celebrating the outstanding contribution that skills and learning make to businesses across Greater Manchester.  The awards recognised and celebrated: 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 and Apprenticeships; training 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 Apprenticeship Hub, sponsored two awards: the Collaboration Award and the Advanced/Higher Apprentice of the Year.

Traineeship Toolkit

The aim of the project was to create a Toolkit which could be used to inform Training Providers and Referral Agencies on the Traineeship offer. The Toolkit demonstrated best practice for providers including the use of assessment methods, curriculum content and sustainable employment opportunities and highlighted to referral agencies what Traineeships are, who they’re for and how they fit within the skills agenda. It comprised 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.

The Dream Job

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.  

You Tell Us

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.


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.

The Greater Manchester Apprenticeship & Careers Service (GMACS)

The Greater Manchester Apprenticeship & Careers Service (GMACS) helps young people explore and design their next steps before leaving school.

The site brings together different stages of the career planning process, helping students navigate the choices open to them and develop the tools to start working life. It showcases what Greater Manchester can offer and provides a direct way to apply for courses, jobs and apprenticeships.

Click here to visit the website and find out more.