Girls Out Loud has launched its Sister Act Apprenticeship programme, aimed at helping regional employers attract more diverse apprentices.
Girls Out Loud, the North West’s leading social enterprise focused on raising the aspirations of teenage girls, will work in partnership with companies and schools across the region to identify girls in Years 10 and 11 (known as ‘Little Sisters’), who can work with mentors (‘Big Sisters’) over a twelve-month period, before graduating school and enrolling on a full time apprenticeship with a North West firm.
Mentors will be recruited from participating companies and will be trained as part of Girls Out Loud’s well-established Big Sister programme, which has already benefited hundreds of girls in schools across the region.
As well as building a pipeline of apprentices, the Big Sister mentoring element of the programme will also give employers the opportunity to empower and reward their existing staff as part of their own personal development journey.
Speaking about the apprenticeships, Lisa McCandless, Culture & Engagement Business Partner at Premier Foods, said, “As one of the region’s top brands, we know apprenticeships give young people a fantastic experience in the working world.”
“The vocational qualification allows organisations like ours to grow our own talent – all we need is the right young people with the right attitudes and behaviours to represent our brands.”
“We are always keen to bring more diversity into our talent pipeline from disciplines such as engineering, food technology and management, and it is so disappointing when we review our figures and conclude that only 18 per cent of all our current apprenticeship places are taken by young women.”
“We believe the Girls Out Loud Apprenticeship programme is a sound idea to help support the region’s employers to redress this imbalance.”
“Some of our most inspirational leaders began their careers on an apprenticeship programme and are now mentors and coaches themselves, helping us to develop the next generation.”
Jane Kenyon, founder of Girls Out Loud, added, “Girls Out Loud is committed to playing its part in helping employers to promote their apprenticeship opportunities and recruit future female talent from the region’s most socially and economically deprived areas – the untapped talent here is shocking.” adds Jane Kenyon, founder of Girls Out Loud.
“2020 has hit young people hard, particularly those from more disadvantaged backgrounds.”
“But we know from the work that we do in schools that there is a huge amount of untapped talent out there.”
“At the same time, employers are still struggling to fill their apprenticeship places, despite increased incentives from government.”
“We’re on a mission to change that.”
Companies participating in the programme will be involved from beginning to end, having opportunities to host workshops and be a part of the final graduation ceremony. Any organisations interested in finding out more can contact Jane Kenyon for additional information or visit www.girlsoutloud.org.uk.
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