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Let’s get talking

Apprenticeships and work experience opportunities thrive on the involvement of businesses and employers.

Apprenticeship and work placement opportunities are fantastic ways for career starters to access and experience their chosen industry. For businesses, you can shape the training around your requirements and business structure. These opportunities only thrive on the involvement of businesses and employers so let’s get talking about how you can get involved.

In this section, we’ll explore what’s happening in the job market right now by taking a look at what’s in the news, as well as ways you can get connected with other businesses across Greater Manchester.   

Take part in our survey

As part of our campaign with Salford Foundation, we are getting the conversation going around all different types of work experience and placements. We would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions so we can help to improve experiences across the estate.

Please complete this short survey to give us your thoughts and ideas.


To get some insight into the opportunities that work-based training can bring, we spoke to Evie Pickering, Brand Executive at Kellanova, who told us about the ways undertaking an apprenticeship kick-started her career. 

Watch below:


Exploring Apprenticeships as an SME

In the dynamic business landscape that we are proud to be part of in Manchester, investing in the next generation of talent through work placements and apprenticeships is not just a way to provide meaningful boosts to new career starters, but a strategic move that can propel your business forward.

This article explores the specific benefits for SMEs, covering apprenticeship management, funding opportunities, and tips for finding ideal candidates.  


The Benefits of Work Placements and Apprenticeships for SMEs

Apprentices bring a fresh set of eyes and innovative ideas to your business. Their enthusiasm can inject new energy into your team, promoting a culture of creativity. Smaller teams often function as tight-knit communities, so introducing apprentices into such an environment fosters a sense of camaraderie and teamwork. The entire team may actively participate in the mentorship process, creating a collaborative learning culture. 

Following this, you can tailor the training programmes to suit your business needs. This ensures that apprentices acquire skills relevant to your industry, making them valuable assets to your company. With fewer layers of hierarchy in SMEs than in the average large business, there’s often greater direct interaction with experienced team members, allowing for a hands-on and tailored learning experience. 

The most important thing to remember is that apprenticeships are not just short-term solutions. By investing in training and development, you’re building a skilled workforce that can contribute to your company’s success over the long term. 

Mentoring & Managing Apprentices Effectively 

Structured Training Plans

Develop comprehensive training plans that cover the essential skills your business requires. This helps apprentices understand their career path within your company and can even provide a clearer image of the business for existing workers, giving them clearer ideas of their potential career pathways and encouraging constant growth and development. 

Mentorship Programs

Pair apprentices with experienced mentors to facilitate knowledge transfer and ensure a smooth integration into your company’s culture. Teaching others is often one of the best ways to reinforce your own knowledge, so the mentors will also benefit greatly from this. 

Regular Feedback

Provide constructive feedback to help apprentices improve and grow. This encourages a positive learning environment and boosts their confidence. 


The world of work is constantly evolving. Explore the latest news stories around

Apprenticeship information for employers, parents and career advisors

Learn more

Get On Greater Manchester: Connecting local talent to digital opportunities

Learn more

Mayor of Greater Manchester unveils plans to create two equal pathways for young people pursuing technical careers and those applying for university

Learn more

Greater Manchester: Free £7m training opportunities

Learn more


In 2024, the UK Government will publish a Strategic Action Plan for Careers. 

Find out more here

On demand training

SME Mentoring and Support Webinar – Department for Education  

Unlock the potential of your apprentices and work experience students with this insightful online webinar! Discover ways to provide optimal support and mentorship to your apprentices, as well as key considerations when bringing them on board. Explore this free webinar now alongside other free resources here

Access resources  


SME Recruitment and Promoting apprenticeship vacancies webinar – Department for Education 

This online webinar provides information on recruiting and promoting apprenticeship vacancies. The webinar will allow you to learn more about the apprenticeship process and consider the next steps to hiring an apprentice.

Watch now.  

Salford Foundation – Working Futures Programme 

Salford Foundation and BNY Mellon have partnered to provide the ‘Working Futures’ programme to help equip young people with the skills needed to make the transition from education to the world of work easier. The programme includes various activities to improve the confidence and readiness of young people, such as getting them interview ready, providing insight into the business world and even launching entrepreneurial programmes. One way a major impact is made is through partnering with local businesses to share their knowledge and experience firsthand with students. Businesses also get an opportunity to promote their apprenticeship opportunities and work placements directly to captive students. Think your business can support the programme?

Contact the foundation today

Salford Foundation – Salford Business Education Partnership  

Salford Foundation have developed the Business Education Partnership (BEP) programme to extend business volunteering opportunities. The programme offers business the opportunity to improved education for young people and adults across the Salford area through various one-day activities and mentoring. Whether it is mock interviews, business talks or mentoring, you can use your business experience and knowledge to help students prepare for the world of work. Interested?

Contact the foundation today

Department of Education – Apprenticeship onboarding and induction 

Department of Education have hosted a webinar where you can hear first-hand from SME employers who have developed their apprenticeship induction programmes. The webinar covers useful guidance on effective onboarding and induction of apprenticeships and how to you can get started. Watch the webinar now! 

Check out their webinar! 


Acas – working for everyone 

Acas is an online resource that offers advice and training on workplace rights, rules and best practice. They have templates, training courses and webinars are a range of topics that could be useful when supporting your apprentice or work experience student at the workplace. These include but are not limited to managing behaviour, people management or providing business support. Visit their website for further updates on upcoming webinars and training.  

Visit website

 Workforce – How to manage burnout of younger employees 

Workforce explore how to manage the mental health of young employees and cover the primary causes of burnout, strategies to build a supportive workplace and tips on how to support younger employees. 

Check out their webinar! 


 Youth Employment UK – Develop a work experience strategy  

Youth Employment UK hosted a work experience webinar for employers to learn about how to get the most out of work experience. The webinar covers topics such as designing a work experience programme that works for your business, support work experience candidates and helpful tips to make work experience meaningful. Their webinar is free to access here 

View webinar