Marches LEP joins forces with employers to promote apprenticeships

March 5, 2018

The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has joined forces with some of the region’s key employers to encourage more businesses to take on apprentices.
A short film, released to coincide with Apprenticeship Week 2018, features companies in Shropshire, Herefordshire and Telford & Wrekin explaining how vital apprenticeships are to the future of their business.
The LEP, and its business support service in the region, the Marches Growth Hub, also developed the video to support employers facing changes brought about by the new Apprenticeship Levy.
LEP Director Gill Hamer said: “We face an issue with an ageing workforce and a skills gap. How we tackle this challenge now will have an effect on the future of our economy, not just here in the Marches but across the UK.
“Employers who take on apprentices know the benefits they can bring. For example, each apprentice is estimated to deliver an average net gain of £1,637 a year to their employers.
“We are very grateful to GKN Land Systems, Caterpillar Defence and Arctic Circle, and their apprentices, for taking part and inspiring other businesses to consider how they can implement a programme to train their own workforce.
“The Government wants to support employers to achieve a target of 3 million apprenticeships by 2020 – that’s the equivalent of more than one apprentice starting every minute of every day over the next five years.
It wants to put employers in the driving seat and increase the quality of training on offer – but here in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, only one fifth of companies have apprenticeships.”
The Marches LEP is already supporting employers responding to the apprenticeship challenge. It has secured £3 million of Growth Deal funding to develop three Advanced Manufacturing Hubs in the region, creating 2,700 apprenticeships.
Matt Bulley is Managing Director of Caterpillar Defence, which has apprentices training at one of the three hubs, the Marches Centre for Manufacturing and Technology in Bridgnorth.
In the video, he says the LEP investment had been ‘exceptionally helpful’ and a catalyst for skills development.
“Apprenticeship are very important for our business. They help provide the balance of our workforce from our retirees who have been here 20, 30 or 40 years and allows us impart those skill and pass them on to the new apprentices as they work hand in hand during that transition.”
The Marches Growth Hub, the region’s one stop shop for business support, can help employers looking for more information on apprenticeships, skills and training.
As well as offering an online resource to search for apprenticeships of all levels, through the dedicated skills portal, you can email

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The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has now ceased trading and transferred all its functions to Shropshire Council working with Telford & Wrekin Council and Herefordshire Council, in line with the UK Government's plans for devolution.

The Marches LEP was established in 2011 and hands over an impressive legacy from its 13-year life. In that time the LEP invested over £196m in projects across the Marches, securing in excess of £100m of match funding and supported more than 66,000 business interactions.

The schemes supported have made tangible differences to local communities, increasing skills, creating jobs and improving the physical appearance of many towns.

We would like to thank all the LEP Board Members who have given their time freely over the life of the LEP, as well as all the staff who worked for the LEP over the years. We also want to thank our delivery partners, local education providers and local, regional and national stakeholders who helped us achieve so much.

The Marches Growth Hub will continue to support businesses and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Each of the three Local Authorities will also continue to provide direct business support locally. Details of this support will be available through the Marches Growth Hub website and from the Local Authorities directly. Website: | email:

The Marches Careers Hub will continue to be delivered and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Website: | email:

For any queries about Getting Building Fund (GBF), Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Marches Investment Fund (MIF) projects supported by the Marches LEP please contact:

For any finance queries please contact:

The solvent liquidation of the Marches LEP is being managed by the Evelyn Partners Limited. For any matter related to this please contact:

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