Press release:

Local leaders come together to promote social mobility through apprenticeships

Thursday 01 February 2024
  • West Yorkshire event hosted by Chartered Management Institute (CMI) aims to increase number of apprentices from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • Data from the Department for Education reveals a 10% decrease in apprenticeship uptake in Kirklees
  • Only 1 in 5 apprenticeships come from an ethnic minority background

Huddersfield, 30 January — The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) has hosted a roundtable to bring together regional leaders to help boost apprenticeship participation rates in West Yorkshire with participants including the Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin, and the Director of Apprenticeships for Huddersfield University, Brian Culleton.

The discussion, themed "Unlocking Potential in Your Workforce: Apprenticeships & Social Mobility," explored how apprenticeships in the region can act as a driving force to increase opportunity for people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Analysis from the DfE showed a 10% decline in apprenticeship uptake by young people in Kirklees from the 2018/19 to the 2021/22 academic year. Furthermore, in the 22/23 academic year, only 1 in 5 apprentices in Kirklees came from an ethnic minority background.

In response, Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire said:

“Apprenticeships can offer a fantastic pathway into all sorts of careers, and I’ve been delighted to meet dozens of brilliant apprentices with bright futures from all across our region.

“Unfortunately, under the national system, we’ve seen apprenticeships fall, therefore we need more devolution to support our young people – particularly those from ethnic minority backgrounds – into great careers.

“Whilst we’ve been able to help fund over 500 extra places, we need Government to urgently review the system and back our plans for a stronger, brighter West Yorkshire.”

Sarah Maskell MBE CMgr CCMI Chair, North East Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Board said:

“The CMI is passionate about the possibilities that apprenticeships hold for people of all ages and from every background. Whether it is delivering new skills to a young person or giving someone who is already in work the chance to reskill for a changing workplace, apprenticeships can unlock a better future for both individuals and communities. We are very proud to be able to convene local leaders to examine what we can do, working together, here in West Yorkshire.

Brian Culleton, Director of Apprenticeships, University of Huddersfield, said:

The University of Huddersfield’s apprenticeships, rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, provide an important opportunity for NHS employers to offer skills development opportunities across the healthcare sector in our region.  We are very proud that Ofsted praised the University for the role that our “apprenticeship programmes play in providing opportunities for people from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds to access higher education opportunities and in retaining talent in the local region.

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About the Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

The Chartered Management Institute is the professional body for managers and leaders. We have a membership community of over 200,000 aspiring and practising managers and more than 150,000 people are currently studying on one of our management and leadership programmes. Our Royal Charter defines our charitable mission as increasing the number and standard of professionally qualified managers and leaders.