City & Guilds Joins forces with Multicultural Apprenticeship Alliance to spearhead Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Apprenticeships and Skills

City & Guilds, the global skills organisation, is proud to announce today the formation of a new alliance with the Multicultural Apprenticeship Alliance (MAA), that will provide much-needed support to learners, allowing them enhanced access to a wider range of apprenticeships and other vocational training opportunities.

26 February 2024

The partnership is being formed to tackle the persistent trend of Multicultural individuals still being significantly underrepresented in apprenticeships.

These groups account for only 13.6 per cent of all apprenticeship starts, though they make up 16.8 per cent of the population, according to the 2021 census. The disparity is greatest for Asian people, who make up 6.4 per cent of apprenticeship starts - three percentage points lower than their representation in the general population (9.6 per cent).

Multicultural young people are twice as likely to be unemployed compared to their white peers. They are under-represented in higher paying sectors and over-represented in sectors with lower pay.

MAA and City & Guilds will work together to implement skills and training initiatives that promote diversity awareness, provide tailored support for underrepresented groups, and facilitate inclusive learning pathways. Championing diversity at every stage of the apprenticeship and skills journey, both organisations will strive to unlock the full potential of individuals from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

charmain bucho headshotCharmain Bucho, Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at City & Guilds, says: “This collaboration signifies a pivotal step for City & Guilds, towards promoting greater equity, diversity, inclusion and social mobility within apprenticeships and the skills sectors.

“Our new partnership with the Multicultural Apprenticeship Alliance, will help us to provide much-needed support to learners – particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds - enabling them to access a wider range of vocational training opportunities than previously.”

Jagdeep Soor, Executive Director at Multicultural Apprenticeship Alliance says: “At the Multicultural Apprenticeship Alliance, we believe in the transformative power of skills development to drive positive change in individual lives and communities. Joining forces with City & Guilds is a move that aligns seamlessly with our values of inclusivity and accessibility. Together, we will work to break down barriers and create pathways for diverse talent to thrive."

Safaraz Ali, Founder of the Multicultural Apprenticeship Alliance and CEO of Pathway Group, says: "We are thrilled to welcome this partnership with City & Guilds, as a patron of the Multicultural Apprenticeship Alliance. Their extensive expertise and unwavering dedication to skills development will enhance our efforts to promote diversity and representation in apprenticeship and skills programmes. This partnership marks a pivotal moment in our journey towards building a more inclusive apprenticeship and skills ecosystem."

The announcement coincides with the start of this year’s Annual Apprenticeship Conference (AAC) hosted by City & Guilds, which runs from 26-27 February, at Birmingham ICC, where MAA will run a workshop “How Widening Participation in Apprenticeships can elevate the impact of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Social Mobility” (Tuesday 27 February; 11:00 – 12:20) to discuss the future implementation of this partnership.