Maidstone and the Weald MP Helen Grant has been appointed as the new Chair of the Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network.
The Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network is a cornerstone of the Government’s strategy to achieve its ambitious targets for widening access to apprenticeships. The National Apprenticeship Service aims to increase the proportion of new apprenticeship starts by people from a Black, Asian or Ethnic Minority background to 20% by 2020. They also aim to boost the number of apprenticeship starts by people with a disability by 20% in the same time period.
The network, launched in February of this year, brings together employers from across a broad range of industries to share best practice and champion the benefits of widening participation in apprenticeships. Members of the group include the BBC, Rolls Royce, BAE Systems and the Kier Group.
In her role as Chair, Helen will help set and drive the objectives of the network, seek and approve new members and champion the need to increase diversity amongst new apprentices more broadly.
Speaking after Chairing her first meeting of the group on Tuesday, Helen said, ‘I am delighted to be taking on this new role and enthused by the opportunity to support the Government in driving up diversity amongst apprentices.
I am a real believer in equality and diversity and am excited by the opportunity to champion the fact that diversity in the work place is not just morally right but also makes good business sense. I also totally believe in apprenticeships; they are personal and bespoke and are powerful drivers of social mobility. I look forward to working with this inspiring group of employers to help the Government meet its ambitious targets. I honestly believe we can make a real difference’