Airport receives share of £140million Government investment


Manchester Airport, Siemens, Sembcorp and Nissan are some of the 34 businesses that have successfully bid to design the vocational training programmes they need to grow and create tens of thousands of opportunities for young people, Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced. They are the first round of winners taking part in the Employer Ownership Pilot (EOP). 

They will receive a share of £60 million and will more than match the funding by investing a combined total of £80 million. Included within the round one projects are radical proposals from Siemens, Arla Foods UK and BAE Systems to train employees not just within their own company but also within their supply chains. 

Others include Manchester Airport‘s proposal to create an academy for school leavers, offering 1-2-1 coaching, employability skills, work experience and qualifications. Nissan is addressing skills shortages in the automotive industry by designing 14 training programmes for over 3000 staff, within the company and at local suppliers. 

The announcement was made as part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy. Launching the strategy at Imperial College, Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “This fund underlines our commitment to strengthening the economy and making sure that the UK workforce has the skills that businesses need. “On a recent fact finding trip to Germany I saw first hand how forward thinking companies were enjoying the benefits of training their supply chain companies so I am particularly excited that we have received a number of bids to do the same in the UK. “The breadth and scope of these projects show how central skills are to our long-term competitiveness, across all sectors and in all corners of the country. I am delighted that these employers have taken this challenge.” 

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said: “Britain must have the skills Britain’s employers need. “By giving businesses the chance to shape and set their own training agenda, we’re giving them the power to enrich their workforce with the skills needed for their future success.” 

As well as supporting businesses and giving them the confidence to invest and grow, the Employer Ownership Pilot will create life-changing opportunities for thousands of young people. The first round of co-investment is expected to generate: 

•11,000 apprenticeships, including 4500 for 16-18 year olds

•18,500 full time equivalent non-apprenticeship vocational training opportunities 

•45,000 other learning or training opportunities, including work experience and work placements 

Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, which is overseeing the scheme, said: “We want to encourage employers to take the lead in designing, developing and delivering the training and employment solutions they need. “I am delighted that so many employers submitted high quality bids to do just that, and I look forward to us supporting more of these in future rounds of the scheme.” 

Wendy Sinfield, Community Relations Manager for Manchester Airport, said: "As one of the largest employers in the region we are committed to providing the skills and training to get young people into the world of work, through our links with the community. Thanks to the funding from the Employee Ownership Pilot (EOP) we will be creating an offshoot of our successful Airport Academy, run in conjunction with Stockport College, which has been designed specifically for under 19’s from Wythenshawe."

The Young Persons Skills Academy will offer a number of apprenticeships at the airport, provide tailor-made mentoring opportunities and give key employability skills to youths from one of the most deprived wards in Europe. It will allow us to continue our work with partner organisations to increase the employability of local students especially in deprived areas and to enhance education in our local community." 

The Employer Ownership pilot will give businesses access to up to a total of £250 million over two years, with more successful bidders being announced in October, and a further bidding round to be launched in the autumn.


For more information, contact the Manchester Airport press office on 0161 489 2700 or email at


Published on: 14/09/2012 14:35:44