National Apprenticeship Week to showcase how apprentices are building future of Greater Manchester

Date published: 09 February 2021

Apprentices in Greater Manchester are set to be celebrated through a series of events as employers have told how they have helped their organisations to grow during the coronavirus pandemic.

National Apprenticeship Week, taking place from February 8-12, will this year be moving online due to social distancing requirements with employers such as AstraZeneca, Juice Academy and the RAF hosting talks on opportunities that are available for apprentices.

The theme this year is ‘Build the Future’, with a focus on how apprenticeships are helping contribute to the future of our city-region. Employers and apprentices will take part in a virtual panel discussion, where they will discuss how apprenticeship placements have played a vital part in helping organisations adapt to Covid-19 and how their work benefits Greater Manchester.

There are currently 40,000 people participating in an apprenticeship in Greater Manchester, who range in age from 16 upwards. It is hoped there will be at least 20,000 new apprenticeship opportunities created over the next year.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “I am proud to be celebrating another year of National Apprenticeships Week and encourage parents, carers, teachers and young people to sign up to the upcoming events.

“I believe the pandemic should not prevent anybody from working in the industry of their choice and that everybody growing up, living or working in Greater Manchester should have the same opportunities. Apprentices also play a crucial role in bridging the skills gap in our city-region.

“I encourage those interested in finding out more about apprenticeships to visit the Greater Manchester Apprenticeship & Careers Service (GMACS) which launched last year. The website contains guidance to help people plan, search and apply for future job opportunities. Advice on keeping well and staying connected digitally during the pandemic can also be found here in order to help people progress.”

Councillor Sean Fielding, GMCA lead for Education and Skills, said: “Apprentices have supported businesses with adapting to home working and they will also play an important part in building the future of the city-region as we recover from the coronavirus crisis.

“Employers and apprentices have worked together to ensure those on placements have continued to gain their qualifications and further their careers during these unprecedented times. I urge further organisations in our city-region to offer apprenticeships and consider how they can help their businesses to thrive.”


National Apprenticeship Week


Some of the activities and events taking place in the week include:

  • Build the Future of GM Panel 10 February – A virtual panel will discuss how employers and apprentices are contributing to the future of Greater Manchester
  • Meet Your Future 8-12 February – A range of talks from employers such as AstraZeneca, RAF, William Hare and Vizion Network taking place throughout week
  • Apprenticeships and the Workplace with Brother UK 12 February – Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network will be speaking with an apprentice and employer from Brother UK

Last year, 70 new apprenticeship opportunities were created through the Removing Barriers apprenticeship scheme with £328,000 handed to seven local organisations to support them in attracting and recruiting new apprentices. The scheme aims to support young people from underrepresented groups with apprenticeships.

Apprentices are currently working across a range of local growth sectors including health innovation, advanced materials and manufacturing, clean growth and low carbon, digital, creative and media, finance and professional services as well as health and social care, as set out in the Local Industrial Strategy.

The Levy Matchmaking Service, a pioneering apprenticeship scheme run by The Growth Company, has also been paving the way in providing apprenticeship opportunities. The service enables large employers with apprenticeship levy underspend to match with smaller business looking to hire apprentices, with over £3.5m so far having been pledged to support apprenticeships in SMEs across Greater Manchester.

To register for National Apprenticeship Week events visit

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