From education to employment

Business partnership urges: Don’t let Apprenticeship Levy funds go to waste

APPRENTICESHIP Levy-paying companies on Wirral are being urged to make sure their unspent levy funds don’t go to waste – by “gifting” part of their unused levy funds to smaller organisations in the local community to help their businesses grow.

Progress to Excellence Ltd has formed a partnership with Wirral Chamber of Commerce to raise awareness among larger businesses that they can choose to gift up to 10 per cent of their total annual levy value so non-levy payers can train their teams via apprenticeships.

Options include working with a charity, a smaller business in their supply chain or any other Wirral employer that could benefit from a re-investment in training and development.

This initiative will make Wirral the first borough nationally to highlight how larger companies can support the growth of smaller companies in the local area.

At the one year anniversary of the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017, levy-paying organisations – those with an annual payroll of more than £3 million – had paid in almost £1.4 billion but had only taken out £108 million for training.

If employers now don’t use these funds quickly, they risk losing as much as £138 million a month, with the money being clawed back by the government.

Damian Burdin, Chief Executive at Progress to Excellence, explained:

“As a national training provider, we’ve taken up this urgent initiative with Wirral Chamber of Commerce to persuade levy-paying businesses to join us in passing on unused funds in order to put them to good use with another organisation. 

“It’s now very much a case of use it or lose it. Rather than unspent funding going back to the government, there’s an opportunity to ‘gift’ it to help fund a wide range of apprenticeship training where it’s most needed 

“A non-levy paying charity, a small business or another Wirral employer that could benefit from re-investment in training and development would be able to use these funds to help with their organisation’s growth, particularly as apprenticeships are available in sectors such as leadership and management, business administration and ICT.

“This way, we can all work together to make sure that Apprenticeship Levy funds already paid in by businesses on Wirral actually stay here and benefit other organisations and their workforce for the benefit of the local economy.”

Patsy Crocker, Executive Director at Wirral Chamber of Commerce, added:

“Together with Progress to Excellence Ltd, we are committed to ensuring our business community can take advantage of this initiative and, as always, we will look to support their aspirations for growth through creating opportunities which will accelerate leadership and management skills to generate expansion.”

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