Boost for Burnham as big businesses back MBacc curriculum

Burnham at the MBacc launch

Over sixty businesses, including big names in tech and finance, have pledged to support Mayor Andy Burnham’s audacious plans for a technical education system across Greater Manchester. 

At a business breakfast yesterday [26 Sept 2023] big names including Microsoft, Siemens, Kraft Heinz, Deloitte, Barclays, Ernst and Young, BBC, ITV and Autotrader were joined by employers from the world of construction and green economy – Capital and Centric and Seddon 

Construction; from education – Shaw Education Trust, UA92, all five of the city-region’s universities; from culture – Factory International, The Warehouse Project/Parklife, BBC, ITV, Halle, Street Games UK, Science and Industry Museum; and from manufacturing and engineering – Sodexo, Daikin and Stepan Company, and others.

Viv Dennis, UK HR Manager at the global chemical manufacturing company Stepan Company, said: “As a global specialty and intermediate chemical manufacturing organisation, we are looking to increase the number of Degree Apprenticeships and Apprenticeships on offer in the next 5 years, allowing candidates to start a fantastic career and study for a related degree or professional qualification.

“In order to support the rest of the sector and secure our own future talent pipeline, Stepan UK will be joining the Mayor’s initiative to ensure that we help inform and frame the requirements from an employer’s point of view.”

The businesses have agreed to be part of a new network of employers to create a technical education pathway across the city-region. 

Seven leaders will be appointed to form an Employer Integration Board who will use insights from seven key sectors to develop more technical education opportunities for young people in Greater Manchester. 

The MBacc, which will launch in September 2024 with a pilot programme, will guide students towards subjects which employers need higher skills in, such as Engineering, Computer Science or the creative subjects.

Burnham said: “Today is a clear signal to young people and their parents and carers in our city-region that we will support you with a clear pathway if university education is not for you.”