Supporting Employers, the Workforce and Job Seekers  

Technical & Vocational Pathways


Apprenticeships are an exciting option for both apprentice and employer and come through a range of pathways, from school leavers and university graduates to people who want to further their careers or change career direction completely. Employers can take on someone new or upskill an existing employee and can access government funding to help pay for apprenticeship training

Hiring an apprentice is a productive and effective way to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce:

  • 86% of employers said apprenticeships helped them develop skills relevant to their organisation
  • 78% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve productivity
  • 74% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve the quality of their product or service

Other benefits of working with apprentices include:

  • adapting their training according to the needs of your business
  • motivating staff to learn new skills
  • expanding and upskilling workforces


T Levels

T Levels are an alternative to A levels, apprenticeships and other 16 to 19 courses. Equivalent in size to 3 A levels, a T Level focuses on vocational skills and can help students into skilled employment, higher study or apprenticeships. Each T Level includes an in-depth industry placement that lasts at least 45 days. Students get valuable experience in the workplace; employers get early sight of the new talent in their industry. Students spend 80% of the course in their learning environment, gaining the skills that employers need. The other 20% is a meaningful industry placement, where they put these skills into action.

Find out more about apprenticeships here and T Levels here

ESF – Current Projects

MCMT Skills for Growth (available in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin)

This project is delivered by the Marches Centre for Manufacturing and Technology (MCMT).

The project seeks to improve the labour market relevance of education and training systems. MCMT have developed a project that will assist SMEs to grow and develop through assessing the key skills development essential to the business. There are 2 themes to this project: Building Business Skills for Growth and then other Building Skills for Future Employment.

Key activities include:

· Engaging with SMEs through a series of informative events and conferences

· Increasing skills in the workforce, to allow cross-skilling, remove bottlenecks in existing workforces, and therefore increase productivity.

. Business support activities and training courses (including short courses, management and technical skills, induction, placement and progression, work experience, internships, application engineering and start-up support.

· Working with the Shropshire and Telford business community to identify the skills needed for the future and the barriers to skills development

MCMT will support individuals into the workplace through the induction scheme, by encouraging young people (15+) into engineering, apprenticeships, and through increasing skills to support enterprise sustainability. This is achieved through a series of STEM engagements across schools and colleges

For more information contact Amy Farley at

The project is currently being delivered until September 2023.

Herefordshire Skills for the Workforce (available in Herefordshire)

This project is delivered by the New Model Institute for Technology & Engineering (NMITE)

 Herefordshire Skills for the Future is a programme which aims to help bridge the gap between small businesses and the education sector and develop enterprise skills amongst young people by:

  • Helping SMEs and microbusinesses in Herefordshire to understand gaps and opportunities in their labour market skills and offer flexible support to enable them to reach their growth potential with a focus on essential skills rather than technical skills.
  • Engaging SMEs and microbusinesses with educators (schools, colleges, FE and HEIs) to embed skills awareness in course content and through extracurricular workshops to help individuals to gain skills relevant to the needs of the local labour market.
  • Developing enterprise skills amongst young people to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs who can start and grow businesses to meet local business needs.

For more information visit

The project is currently being delivered until December 2023.


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