The Ladder for the Black Country

The Ladder for the Black Country campaign is being reactivated with the aim of helping people take the first step up the rungs to successful careers by opening the doors to a new stream of apprenticeship opportunities. It comes at a time when the Black Country and the wider UK is facing the spectre of rising unemployment in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. The Ladder for the Black Country is backed by the Express & Star. It was originally launched in 2014 and the campaign succeeded in finding employment for more than 1,000 people in the region over three years.


The Ladder team has maintained its effort since then and at least another 500 apprentices have been taken on by businesses across Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton in the intervening years. Now a phase two ladder will be supporting renewed efforts to match apprentices to employers and help reduce the scale of unemployment in the region. The original campaign proved effective in encouraging businesses across the area to get involved and launch apprenticeship programmes or take on more apprentices.


It has helped many people to find a career path and take those vital first few steps up the ladder. Businesses that have been involved with the Ladder for the Black Country and invested in young people have seen raw apprentices they took on blossom to become key members of their workforce. The Ladder will ensure businesses get clear direction on what Kickstart and traineeships and apprenticeships can offer them, along with grants that are available to encourage taking on apprentices. The Ladder team will also be working closely with schools and colleges to match candidates on courses with Black Country employers looking to recruit.


Help will be available to school leavers and unemployed people as well to ensure that they can find the opportunities that are out there.  Apprenticeships will not just be for school leavers’, Apprenticeships are being created for over-25s too. Express & Star Editor Martin Wright said: “We are proud to be a part of this campaign and look forward to helping make a positive contribution to our region’s recovery from the devastating effects of the pandemic.”