The University of Birmingham has underlined its commitment to inclusion by becoming a member of the Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network.
The Network’s remit is to make a positive change to diversity and inclusion in apprenticeships and increase representation from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) individuals, those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities (LDD), females in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and those from disadvantaged areas in all industries.
The University currently employs 31 apprentices from a wide variety of backgrounds and are a vehicle for the institution to help improve social mobility while building a skilled, diverse workforce. They work in areas such as catering, administration, marketing, maintenance, engineering and customer services among others.
University of Birmingham Apprenticeship Co-ordinator Caleb Wright said: “Our apprentices are an important and highly valued part of the University and contribute an extraordinary amount. Research shows that organisations with a more diverse workforce perform better in all ways, including financially. We are proud to join this network and will work hard to support the Government’s goal to increase apprenticeships among BAME individuals by 20% by 2020.”
In joining the Network, the University pledges to:
- Promote apprenticeships in disadvantaged areas of the West Midlands through open days and working with training providers.
- Promote apprenticeships in disadvantaged areas through media promotion of the scheme. Develop and publish case study articles and videos of apprentices from BAME, LDD and deprived areas.
- Develop ‘apprentice champions’ from successful previous year apprentices. Promote apprenticeships among University suppliers.
- Continue to monitor apprentice diversity and aim to increase the number of BAME apprentices to above 20%.
- Continue to support new entrant apprentices through a bespoke programme that includes an outward bound trip, team building activities, career development sessions, monthly one-to-ones, apprentice champions input and guest talks.
National Apprenticeship Service Director Sue Husband said: “Apprenticeships present a perfect vehicle for improving social mobility and building a skilled, diverse workforce. Apprenticeships can increase productivity and product quality, as well as boosting staff morale and retention.”
Find out more about apprenticeships at the University of Birmingham.