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Growing Apprenticeship Partnerships for SMEs: Embedding Acievements

The Final Event of the SME GAP project took place in Manchester in July 2018 attended by 80 SMEs. Apprenticeship Providers and Policy Makers with representation from all there partner countries. The event was held to showcase the work carried out during the project activity & to embed the learning in stakeholder organisations' activity and to take it further by examining the potential routes for future legacy.


Over the past two years, partners have been working with their local stakeholder organisations and deliverers of apprenticeship programmes to improve the relationship between providers of apprenticeship programmes, policy makers and SMEs. Partners have identified common themes where we all need the same response as well as individual approaches to fill specific gaps in regional provision.


The event was opened by Julia Clarke, Dean of the Manchester Met University Business School, who introduced the Manchester team and welcomed our partners and stakeholders from Spain and Austria and invited delegates to contribute to the workshops to be held during the afternoon.


A number of Cost Benefit Analyses have been identified during the project activity and Productivity gains for SMEs from hiring an apprentice was a core theme during the day.


The workshops carried out during the afternoon will inform future policy and delivery. The workshops included:


Group 1: Marketing Messages: adoption and mainstreaming by Support Organisations & Training Providers. Taking SME GAP into future apprenticeship events & social media campaigns (Russell Yates)


Group2: Policy Reinforcing Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce’s policy requests for change around apprenticeship policy & frameworks (Joy Sewart GMCC)


Group 3: Greater Manchester minimum standards for supporting Apprenticeships

Understanding & embedding Greater Manchester’s identified minimum standards for Support Advisors & Training Providers (Nic Hutchins – GMCA)


Group 4: Further Research Opportunities around apprenticeships: An opportunity to discuss further research opportunities in relation to apprenticeships e.g. Cost/Benefit, productivity, diversity in the workplace, social inclusion, widening participation, educational achievement, educational pathways etc (Raheel Nawaz)


Group 5: SME ‘Readiness’ Toolkit

Continued development of Manchester Met’s online toolkit for understanding if an SME is ready to hire an apprentice (which is also a Business Support tool for support officers advising SMEs) (Richard Waggot)


Group 6: Progressing Dual Training in Spain






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Growing Apprenticeship Partnerships (SME GAP) focusses on 'building capacities of intermediary bodies' to support apprenticeships in SMEs, with partners in the United Kingdom, Austria and Spain.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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