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: 

Supporting SMEs 

We developed a Greater Manchester small-to-medium enterprise apprenticeship package, which included grants for non-levy paying employers, support with workforce planning to highlight where apprentices could fit in with the business, a levy matchmaking service (opens in new window), and the roll-out of criteria to make you a quality apprentice employer.

We evaluated the impact of the SME support package, and as a result we will continue to fund the GM Apprenticeship Levy Matchmaker until 2023. We are also supporting and developing wraparound support for SME employers with workforce development advice, signposting, and support through the Skills for Growth SME Support programme.

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.

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 Amy Glanville (email).


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.

And to make sure apprentices have the digital skills they need, we are working in partnership with iDEA (opens in a new window) to encourage all apprentices to gain their bronze and silver awards in this free, nationally recognised online programme. Contact Nic Hutchins (email) for a code to gain additional points as a Greater Manchester apprentice. 

Providing information and advice

Through our Apprentice Ambassadors (the real face of Greater Manchester apprentices), the #SeeDifferent campaigns, and business engagement such as Bridge GM (opens in a new window), 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. Working alongside the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (opens in a new window) we are creating a blue print for apprenticeships across the sector.