Multicultural Apprenticeship Alliance: Widening Participation, Destinations & Outcomes Roundtable

On 4th July The Multicultural Apprenticeship Alliance held their Widening Participation, Destinations & Outcomes Roundtable at Manchester Metropolitan University, the same venue and date as the Manchester Festival of Apprenticeships.  

The rationale of the event was to align and maximise the impact of The Pathway Group Multicultural initiatives namely The Multicultural Apprenticeship Alliance, Festival of Apprenticeships, Multicultural Apprenticeship Awards and The Apprenticeship Diversity & Social Mobility Forum.

Expertly chaired by Naomi Phillips, Deputy Chief Executive, Learning & Work Institute; the event also offered an opportunity to discuss the extent of our remit, our strategy and how we can maximise the impact of our work.

MAA Roundtable Present

“The original brief had a focus on “Engagement, Retention, Completion, Progression and Outcomes of apprenticeships of individuals from the multicultural community”. This strikes me as a useful set of issues for us to focus on. The evidence review and data analysis could refine our focus further and surface the key issues that we would like to address.”

– Dr Fiona Aldridge, Head of Insight, Economic Delivery, Skills & Communities, West Midlands Combined Authority

The theme and areas to direct our focus, thoughts, discussion and actions were as below:

Despite the prevalence of apprenticeship programmes, there is a need to enhance attraction, engagement, progression, and social mobility for the multicultural community.

  • Does the current apprenticeship programme lack the necessary measures to fully harness the potential for multicultural individuals seeking vocational training and professional development.
  • Issues such as limited awareness, insufficient support systems, equity of opportunity and social barriers impede the effectiveness, diversity and inclusivity of apprenticeships, impacting the overall attainment of outcomes, destinations and social mobility.
  • To address these challenges, we need to explore strategies that can promote increased attraction, enhanced engagement, seamless progression, better achievement and improved social mobility in apprenticeships, thereby maximising their impact on individuals’ career prospects and socio-economic wellbeing.

“The challenge and opportunity we have is to bring together those organisations that can.

  • enable the sector to make the most of the diverse student talent.
  • support employers to understand and welcome diversity.
  • create the curriculum and pathways that are inclusive.
  • promote and celebrate success,
  • prioritise and stimulate activity.”

– Jeff Greenidge, Director for Diversity & Governance, Association of Colleges

The Multicultural Apprenticeship Alliance strives to promote social mobility, diversity, inclusion and equity in apprenticeships and employability through three pillars: 

  • Educate – organisations on building a diverse workforce and the multicultural community on the benefits of apprenticeships.
  • Engage – with the Multicultural community and key stakeholders to increase knowledge and engagement. 
  • Advocacy & Policy – working with sector leaders to influence local, regional and national policy.

We are already in the process of developing programmes, test and learn initiatives and evidence and data collation, which through evaluation will make positive impactful change.

Thank you to everyone that attended and/or supported last month’s Multicultural Apprenticeship Alliance: Widening Participation, Destinations & Outcomes Roundtable.

It was amazing to get so many Multicultural Apprenticeship Alliance Patrons, sector specialists and thought leaders in one room.

A special thank you also to Department for Education, IFATE and UCAS colleagues for attending, Naomi Phillips for expertly chairing/facilitating and Manchester Metropolitan University for hosting.