By Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, Cabinet Member for Decent Living Incomes
In 2018, Ealing Labour’s bold manifesto pledged to create 750 new apprenticeships for Ealing by 2022.
Not only have we achieved this ambitious target, but we’re delighted to announce that we’ve delivered it six months early – creating over 761 new apprenticeships.
In an uncertain world, Ealing Labour is here to ensure we deliver meaningful change for the people we speak to on the doorsteps. Their desire to have a bright future is matched by our ambition to create good jobs with decent living incomes for residents in every corner of Ealing.
Apprenticeships are perfect opportunities for young people to break from the Conservative model of measuring everyone by a huge set of exams at school; to enable the real-world potential of young people to shine through. We’ve seen so many people grow in confidence as they receive support and investment to learn their trade in a hands-on way, gain qualifications, and earn an income.
Apprentices often excel in their placements, and many of the council’s own apprentices have stayed on in permanent roles after proving themselves during their apprenticeships.
One of our star apprentices is Jamie from Northolt, who explains the reason why he chose an apprenticeship, “I chose to do an apprenticeship because university was not the right option for me. After my A levels I decided I wanted more work experience, and the apprenticeship was still a chance to get an education and experience in the workplace”.
Jamie has gone on to do a Level 2 and then Level 3 apprenticeship at the council, where he has secured a permanent role. This shy young man from Northolt has flourished to become a speaker at the young black males’ conference; encouraging underrepresented young Black African and Black Caribbean men to raise their aspirations.
Apprenticeships can also offer more support for those who find traditional academic study difficult, like J whose autism made taking on a degree level qualification a challenge. J has instead been able to secure a Level 3 apprenticeship as a gateway to fulfil his ambitions and is doing so in an area which has a high skills shortage.
The pastoral support on offer as part of support packages in quality apprenticeships was a lifeline for J and helped him complete his course during the Covid-19 pandemic, one of the toughest times many of us have faced. He’s now progressing to a Level 4 apprenticeship – the equivalent of a foundation degree.
Apprenticeships have supported lots of people who want to return to education after a difficult first experience. M was permanently excluded from school at the age of 14, but the stability, structure and support network that comes with a quality apprenticeship has seen her flourish, demonstrating her excellent work attitude and enthusiasm. Despite challenges at home, she has proven herself to be bright, able and strong-willed. M’s self-confidence has grown massively and having completed a Level 2 qualification, she’s on her way to a Level 3.
Apprenticeships make a real difference to the lives of those who take them on. While apprentices can expect to leave their roles with new qualifications and a brighter future ahead, businesses are able to recruit promising local young people and support them to learn the skills they need to succeed.
Everyone in Ealing deserves to reach their full potential, and Ealing Labour’s focus on apprenticeships is just one way we’re creating opportunities for local people. Education, training and apprenticeships can be lifechanging, and we’re committed to continuing to support everyone in Ealing to achieve their ambitions in whatever way works for them.
Another promise: delivered.
Want to find out more about how Ealing’s Labour Council is supporting local people into good jobs?
Ealing Council has recently published Ealing’s Plan for Good Jobs, a strategy to help Ealing’s economy recover from the pandemic. This includes a focus on supporting local people to find work, and to access training and skills development to secure a good job with a decent living income.