The Ladder Apprenticeship Foundation is set to administer the new scheme. The idea is to encourage apprenticeship campaigns in local newspapers. The objective is to create 10,000 new jobs and deal with the issue of social mobility.
Robert Halfon MP, chair of the Education Select Committee, launched Ladder for England in the House of Commons in October 2018. The organisation will be headed by Kevin Davis, of the Vine Trust Group, and Eddie Stride, the CEO of Transform UK.
The plan builds on the success of Ladder for London launched by the Evening Standard and supported by HRH the Duke of York in 2013. The aim was to tackle youth unemployment in the capital and initially aimed to secure 500 apprenticeship pledges from providers. The campaign far exceeded expectations and resulted in 1,500 places being filled.
In March 2014 the Vine Trust visited Buckingham Palace with a proposal to extend the Ladder scheme to the Midlands. The delegation included representatives from industry, the local authority and local press and presented a plan to collaborate over 15 months to create 500 jobs. Since its launch in September of that year, 1,000 jobs have been created.
Since then the scheme has been rolled out as far afield as Shropshire and Staffordshire during 2018.
Ladder for England hopes to build on the success of the schemes in London and the Midlands by inspiring other regional partnerships and encouraging employers to rise to the challenge by creating more apprenticeships.
By harnessing local media campaigns, the Foundation hopes to create tens of thousands of new posts.
Alongside local campaign teams, a new national organisation will push the scheme forward. Chambers of Commerce and regional training providers will also be brought on board alongside public sector representation through Local Enterprise Partnerships. The Duke of York will continue as the national patron.
Tackling youth unemployment, particularly among those not in education or training, has long been a government priority, and young people’s lack of experience is seen as a major obstacle in their job search. Apprenticeships are viewed as the ideal sustainable start for youngsters seeking the first rung on the ladder. The introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy has also inspired the new campaign.