Birmingham is among five major cities across England that have pledged to work with the government to drive up apprenticeships among black and minority ethnic and disadvantaged communities.
The 5 Cities Project is being launched in Greater Manchester, London, Bristol, Birmingham and Leicester and aims to boost diversity in apprenticeships.
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Apprenticeships are an excellent way of providing businesses and individuals with the skills that are needed for success.
"The 5 Cities Project builds on the Mayor’s Mentors programme and DWP’s Work Coaches programme which are already linking young people to businesses and delivering more access to opportunity for young people across the city.”
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A University of Birmingham spokesman added: “Our apprenticeship scheme in its second year is already demonstrating the positive impacts a diverse apprentice cohort can have for an organisation. As we work to increase the impact of our scheme, we are looking forward to supporting this project that will share best practise and promote the positive contribution apprentices make.”
The project is a joint initiative between the Department for Education, the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) and major employers including B&Q, Rolls Royce, Optimity and Interserve.
Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said: “I’m thrilled by the strong support we have received for this project.
"It’s great to be working together on our drive to make sure that everyone, whatever their background, can get onto an apprenticeship at whatever level suits them.”