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Apprenticeship levy transfer scheme unlocks vital talent to plug skills shortage in Oxfordshire

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Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE Banbury) UK is supporting vital skills growth in Oxfordshire, unlocking talent through the apprenticeship levy transfer scheme.

Following the pandemic, many employers are experiencing serious skills and labour shortages, making it difficult to attract and retain high quality talent within their organisation. Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) and JDE Banbury are encouraging businesses to hire apprentices to unlock the door to future growth.

With a long-standing commitment to apprenticeships, JDE Banbury is celebrating its 40th year of training apprentices in 2023, with over 50 former apprentices now at manufacturing leadership level. The coffee manufacturer has made a real difference in the Banbury community through its apprenticeship programme over the years and is now taking advantage of the apprenticeship levy transfer scheme to support the growth of pipelines of talent in other workplaces across Oxfordshire.

In 2022, JDE Banbury pledged over £50,000 of its unspent apprenticeship levy to support community organisations Katharine House Hospice, and Hedena Health Centre as well as providing apprenticeship training for key roles in the NHS and primary education.

The funds enabled apprenticeship training for a Sports Coach Apprentice at a local primary school and an Apprentice Healthcare Assistant role at a GP surgery in Kidlington. These roles are vital in helping to address current skills shortages across the workforce and encourage the growth of talent within the local area.

Any remaining funds from JDE Banbury will be made available on the government’s apprenticeship levy pledge website, where organisations can apply for a share to grow talent in their own community through apprenticeships.

By retaining levy payments locally, employers like JDE Banbury can support essential skills growth within their area and remove barriers to employment for individuals who may otherwise not have the opportunity to do so.

OxLEP Skills supports large organisations to grow talent in the county through the use of their unspent apprenticeship levy. Businesses that pay the levy are able to “pledge” 25% of their annual allowance to unlock opportunities for smaller businesses.

The organisation is encouraging local employers to invest in their people through the Social Contract Programme. This £1.7m scheme is aimed at addressing the impacts of the pandemic on health and wellbeing for individuals and businesses in Oxfordshire by supporting those experiencing unemployment and barriers to employment, education, and training. Since the launch of the programme in May 2022, over £270,000 has been pledged in levy transfers in Oxfordshire.

Apprenticeships offer a unique opportunity for businesses to increase their skills retention and boost productivity. On-the-job-training can prove invaluable for employers looking to plug labour shortages in specific roles, as they can tailor apprenticeship training programmes to their own needs and growth plan. 

Working together, large organisations, such as JDE Banbury, can deliver real social value in their communities by encouraging apprenticeships to a wider pool of employers and providing the resources to enable them. There are a wide range of apprenticeship roles available across sectors – be it in tourism, HR, engineering – meaning that anyone can do an apprenticeship to unlock a long and fulfilling career.

Showcasing the role they can play in the wider Oxfordshire business community, JDE Banbury will be the headline sponsor of the 2023 Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards, run by OxLEP. The seventh annual awards celebrate the successes across a variety of different apprenticeship schemes providing opportunities for people in the county.

JDE Banbury’s own longstanding apprenticeship programme has supported the development of many careers over the past four decades. At the 2022 Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards, Ryan Taylor, an Apprentice Support Technician at JDE Banbury, won the Shining Star Award in recognition of the outstanding progress he has made in his career since completing his apprenticeship. Ryan is now a well-respected member of JDE Banbury’s maintenance team, and his passion for apprenticeships shines through in his role providing hands-on training for up to 20 apprentices as an apprentice trainer.

The organisation was also highly commended in the Apprenticeship Employer of the Year Award (250+ employees), and apprentice Lauren Hansen was highly commended in the Advanced Apprentice of the Year Award category.

OxLEP offers access to dedicated apprenticeship advisors who can give free impartial advice to support employers looking to open the door to more opportunities in Oxfordshire.

To find out how you can unlock the door to discover talent with OxLEP’s apprenticeship support, please visit:

To find out more about the Social Contract Programme, please visit:

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