From education to employment

£1M goal reached to fund new apprenticeships

Ollie Roberts, Assistant Manager at Little Tap Restaurant and Bar in Tarporley, Cheshire, was one of the first to benefit from a £100k levy gift donation by leading hospitality & catering company Elior.

A campaign by a leading apprenticeship provider to encourage levy gifting from unspent levy funding has resulted in over £1M of funds which are already supporting 200 apprenticeships in several market sectors across the UK.

Skipton Building Society has swooped in at the last minute to make a donation of £100k in unspent levy funding, to help a leading apprenticeship provider smash their target of raising £1M of funds to support 200 apprenticeships across the UK. 

Total People, which provides apprenticeships in more than 20 different industries across the UK, launched the campaign back in February this year, with a goal to achieve £500K of ‘levy gifting’ from large organisations who can gift 25% of their levy funding. The target was quickly met after a few weeks, and a new target to reach £1M and 200 apprenticeships by the 20th August was set. This new goal was achieved thanks to many UK organisations gifting their funds, to secure apprenticeships in sectors that are crying out for support, including hospitality, catering, health & social care, childcare, engineering and automotive.

Government figures revealed that more than £250 million of funding earmarked to create new apprenticeships was returned to the Treasury unspent last year. The funding could have created around 30,000 apprenticeship placements, according to Total People.

Major national companies including G4S, Elior, Smyths Toys, Evrie, BP, SPIE UK and Skipton Building Society, generously gifted their funding to secure placements in a variety of industries, smashing the target and opening doors to new careers for over 200 learners.

Apprenticeships can be made available to new and existing employees of all ages, and can be used to bridge skills gaps, increase a workforce or train on new technologies.

Melanie Nicholson, Total People Managing Director, said:

“This is a fantastic response that really shows the value of working together to achieve momentum, and change lives. The apprenticeship levy is a cost that most medium and large businesses pay, and it is a case that if they don’t use that money, they lose it.

“By securing the funds, we have managed to support over two hundred young people onto an apprenticeship, which not only gives them a career path but supports businesses who are struggling to retain staff in this volatile market. The apprentices who are placed are able to train on and off the job, achieving skillsets they can use throughout their lives whist enabling them to progress and master their skills in their chosen career.

“Using our apprenticeships expertise, each pound of gifted funding is helping to create real opportunities for individuals and businesses, while at the same time bridging skills gaps in key sectors and towns and cities.”

Levy paying employers are businesses with a wage bill of over £3 million, with 0.5 per cent of their payroll paid towards the levy. Businesses can gift that money internally to fund apprenticeship programmes, or alternatively they can ‘gift’ up to 25 per cent to other organisations to fund apprenticeships.

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