In September 2012, supported by Buckingham Palace, The Evening Standard launched the Ladder for London, to help tackle youth unemployment through apprenticeships. The aims of the first phase of the campaign was to achieve 500 apprenticeship pledges from employers by December 2012, with initially 100 clients placed in companies within 100 working days. These aims were exceeded, and the Ladder progressed to the next phase of their campaign encouraging employers and schools to utilise the apprenticeship brand.

In March 2014, Kevin Davis, CEO of the Vine Trust Group and Ladder Foundation Chairman, led a Black Country delegation to Buckingham Palace, with a view to translate the ‘Ladder for…. ‘ initiative to the Black Country. Partners included the Chamber of Commerce, Walsall Authority (representing the 4 Authorities) and PTP Training (representing Skills & Education Providers). A key partner also in attendance was the Express and Star newspaper, who had agreed to collaborate in forming what turned out to be a 15 month ‘Ladder for the Black Country’ campaign to create 1,000 jobs through the apprenticeship brand.

Following this, in 2015, the partnership led by PTP Training, rolled out the campaign to create Ladder initiatives in Shropshire, Staffordshire, Greater Birmingham and most recently the Ladder for Coventry and Warwickshire was launched.

A key theme for any Ladder project is to engage with appropriate stakeholders, to champion the apprenticeship brand and the impact it can have on employers, communities and of course individuals. With over 5,000 Ladder connected apprenticeship starts and close to a million pounds worth of editorial from our media partners, the Ladder has added real value and changed some individuals lives. Taking apprentices to Buckingham Palace, St James Palace and the Houses of Parliament were some of the highlights, but the life changing jobs and Ladder legacies such as the DfE Ladder School in Walsall, Apprenticeship Skills HUB in Shropshire, Ladder Schools Engagement Officer in the Black Country, and the Annual Apprenticeship Awards in Greater Birmingham are the real successes. Over 15,000 people viewed the remote awards that took place in November 2020 we  held our 3rd awards on November 2021, we are hoping for a Black Country Apprenticeship Awards will take place in 2022.

Our Patron, Robert Halfon MP, chair of the Education Select Committee, launched Ladder for England in the House of Commons in October 2018. We have expanded the support we offer to stakeholders such as Local Enterprise Partnerships, Councils including West Midlands Combined Authority, with the latter asking for our support with their Levy Transfer programme.

The Ladder Foundation is a credible broker that has a Network of Providers and an appropriate due diligence process that means we only work with suitable employers and skills providers and a vast number of Employer Partners including HS2, NHS, Fortem Carers Construction, Sunbelt Rentals and SME’s all who have pledged to create apprenticeship positions.

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