Apprenticeship diversity receives employer boost

The Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network (ADCN) has increased its membership, taking the number of employers committed to apprenticeship diversity to more than 40.

Set up to champion apprenticeships and diversity among employers, BT, Shropshire Council, Nottingham City Homes, the Royal Air Force, Walsall Council, Vets4Pets, My KindaFuture, Colas Rail, Christeyns and Bombardier have all recently joined the network.

These employers have all committed to encouraging more people from underrepresented groups to consider apprenticeships.

Existing members, including the BBC, Kier Group, Yorkshire Water, Rolls Royce, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and BAE Systems, are positively promoting the benefits of apprenticeships with visits to thousands of schools and looking at the recruitment, selection, and progression of apprentices.

To mark the increasing impact of ADCN, a short film featuring Sue Husband, director of the National Apprenticeship Service, and Helen Grant MP has also been launched.

Grant, who is chair of ADCN, said: “Apprenticeships offer a real ladder of life changing opportunity to individuals, allowing each to reach their full potential through committed employment and earning whilst they learn. It is crucially important that these opportunities are made available to people of all backgrounds.”

“Each employer who joins our network is sending out a loud message to other employers and individuals about the transformative impact apprenticeships can have on business, engendering loyalty and delivering the bespoke skills required for their workforce.”

“I am delighted to welcome our new employers to our growing network, together we will make a difference by creating the most diverse and inclusive apprenticeships possible.”

Steven Stewart, apprenticeship programme lead at GSK, added: “As soon as I heard about ADCN, I thought it was a fantastic mission and I really wanted to be part of it. As someone who did not have a straightforward path to reach my current role, I am passionate about supporting people from diverse backgrounds and helping them succeed.”

“I have seen the benefits of having a diverse apprenticeship programme at GSK and we are continually working hard to ensure that our scheme is accessible to everybody. One of our pledges is to work with experts to review social mobility and see how we can benchmark this to understand our current state. I am looking forward to learning from the group and taking this knowledge back to GSK to support our programme.”

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