Newspapers’ Apprenticeships Campaigns Inspire National Initiative

The successful Ladder campaigns to boost apprenticeships run by titles including the Evening Standard and Express & Star have resulted in the launch of a nationwide initiative.

With the aim of creating 10,000 new jobs and addressing issues of social mobility, Ladder for England was launched in the House of Commons by Robert Halfon MP, chairman of the Education Select Committee.

At the event, attended by representative of both titles as well as other partners, Mr Halfon said: “The work you have done to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds is everything we should be doing in this country.

“Apprenticeships are the most incredible ladder of opportunity. Rung by rung they transform lives. It is great to have an organisation like the Ladder. It’s so important that you have grown this in the regions. I believe you can do a lot.

“Let’s make this a real success. You are starting a movement which can transform thousands of lives especially from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

The campaign will build on the success of the Evening Standard and Express & Star initiatives, and be run by the Ladder Apprenticeship Foundation with the aim of fostering apprenticeship campaigns in regional newspapers.

The Standard’s initiative involved more than 400 London enterprises, including top City firms such as Goldman Sachs, who had never taken apprentices before. Almost 85 per cent of the apprenticeships were for white-collar jobs, while the rest were in the construction sector.

The Duke of York became its patron, calling it “an invaluable initiative that had caught the capital’s imagination.”

The Midland News Association’s Ladders for the Black Country, Staffordshire and Shropshire, together generated more than 1,000 jobs.