Why we're promoting local apprenticeships

As National Apprenticeship Week 2020 (February 3-7) gets underway, Cllr Tristan Chatfield, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, writes on a new council policy that aims to boost the prospects of potential apprentices from Birmingham…

As a council, we have a clear vision for Birmingham, which is to create a city of inclusive growth where every child, citizen and place matters.

To achieve this, the council needs a highly skilled workforce and that means having people with the right skills, delivering the right service, at the right time.

Creating apprenticeship opportunities is a vital part in how we will do this.

Apprenticeships give people from every background the opportunity to learn and grow, bringing fresh ideas and innovation into the organisation as well as supporting their own personal development.

The city continues to grow, with an exciting and wide range of businesses serving the local and national economy.

Therefore, it is important that Birmingham City Council, one of the very small numbers of organisations that serves each and every citizen, leads the way in prioritising job and training opportunities for local people.

So, as National Apprenticeship Week 2020 begins, we are making a pledge in this regard.

Being a strategic leader in the city, we want to improve the number of apprenticeship opportunities being made available year on year for the residents of Birmingham.

We formally pledge to use our own Apprenticeship Levy* to ring fence all of our externally-advertised apprenticeship posts for Birmingham residents only. If someone already works for the council, and would like to apply for an apprenticeship, they don’t necessarily have to live in Birmingham.

This will help local people to develop new skills and share in the city’s economic growth making Birmingham an entrepreneurial city in which to learn, work and invest.

Apprenticeships also play a pivotal role in enabling our existing workforce to develop new or existing skills.

We must keep apace with the challenges posed by budget cuts, increased demand and technological advancements.

Apprenticeship training for existing staff will help us ensure we have a workforce equipped to best meet the needs of our citizens.

We are committed to being a learning organisation and apprenticeships are central to that commitment.

We hope other organisations follow our lead for the good of the city and its people.

The new policy will be officially unveiled during a Birmingham Apprenticeship event, being held at Villa Park for students, parents, teachers and careers leaders on Wednesday (February 5).


*Background to the Apprenticeship Levy

The UK Government introduced the Apprenticeship Levy on 6 April 2017.

The Levy is a mandatory payment paid each month by employers with a pay bill of over £3 million (including local authorities) to make an investment in apprenticeships.

The current rate is 0.5% contribution of the employer’s total salary bill.

The aim of the Levy is to put employers at the centre of identifying the skills, knowledge and behaviours that are required for the current and future workforce to ensure apprentices receive high quality training to meet the chosen professional standards.

The Government has also set public sector organisations, with over 250 employees, a requirement that 2.3% of the workforce undertake an apprenticeship annually by 31 March 2021.

As of September 2019, the current headcount of Birmingham City Council is 10,536. Based on this figure, the council will have a target of 242 employees to undertake an apprenticeship annually.

This blog was posted on 3 February 2020

Share and Enjoy:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.


The blog of Birmingham City Council

Recent posts



Social Links