Metro Mayor invests £9.4m in skills

A £9.4m Liverpool city region programme will aim to offer new skills to 10,000 people during the next 12 month. Tony McDonough reports

skills, training, mechanic, work apprentice, apprenticeships
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram is investing £9.4m in skills across the city region


Up to 10,000 people across Liverpool city region will be given the opportunity to acquire more skills in 2022 as part of a £9.4m training and careers programme.

Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram plan includes an expansion of his award-winning Be More apprenticeships portal to help upskill workers and jobseekers of all ages across Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens and Halton.

Up to £4.5m in grants will be distributed by the end of 2022 – supporting 1,500 businesses and helping 10,000 people to learn fresh skills or find new careers. And £2m will go towards free training for employees to tackle skills shortages in 19 designated areas including leadership, basic business skills, soft support skills and hospitality.

Launched in 2019, Be More was the UK’s first UCAS-style apprenticeship portal. It was created as a part of Mr Rotheram’s skills agenda and will be expanded to create a single port of call for employers, individuals and providers.

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This larger-scale offering will be a key part of delivering his Young Person’s Guarantee – a guaranteed job, training or apprenticeship opportunity for any young person in the city region not in education, employment or training.

Mr Rotheram said: “Our region’s greatest natural resource is our people. Resourceful, passionate and hardworking, they will always be the bedrock of our fortunes. But too often, people from our area are denied the chance to get on in life. Not because of a lack of talent, but a lack of opportunity.

“Levelling the playing field and fixing that imbalance has been one of my biggest priorities since I was first elected. From the initial launch of Be More to the launch of my Young Person’s Guarantee, I want to give everyone in the Liverpool city region the best possible chance to get on in life.

Steve Rotheram
Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram


“This radical expansion of Be More will be transformative for the service and should help 10,000 people by the end of 2022. As a former apprentice myself, I know the life-changing impact that decent training opportunities and good careers advice can have. I want everyone in our region to get those same opportunities.”

The LCR Skills and Apprenticeships Hub has been operating since January 2020, thanks to £3.96m from the Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) and, in November of that year, a £5.45m investment by the European Social Fund (ESF).

Up to 100% of funding can be provided for priority training, thanks to the ringfencing of £2m. Employers across LCR are eligible to apply for training grants, small and medium sized firms can access grants to cover 70% of the cost, while firms employing more than 250 people will be entitled to claim 50%.

Joanne Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool and Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Education, Skills, Equality and Diversity, added: “This project is so vitally important to help tackle the shortage of skills that holds back our residents, offering them the opportunity to reach their potential.”

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