Over one million pounds has now been pledged to help small businesses across the West of England support people to develop new skills through apprenticeships.
The money is available to support training costs for businesses to take on new apprentices or further develop the skills and prospects of existing members of staff through apprenticeship training.
Funding has been pledged to the region’s Share to Support scheme, which is run by the West of England Combined Authority and The Western Training Provider Network.
It comes from apprentice-levy paying employers passing on their unused levy funds so that more apprenticeships can be created for local people.
Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “Thanks a million to all those who are making sure we keep this apprentice cash local.
“What a great collective effort to boost apprenticeship opportunities to equip people with skills they will need in our changing workplaces.”
Nationally, it is estimated that between £4m and £8m of unused levy funds are returned to the Treasury each year.
The West of England Combined Authority and Western Training Provider Network (WTPN) launched Share to Support in the spring, as part of the Workforce for the Future Programme, to help smaller businesses recover through funding new apprenticeships.
Alex Richards Director of the Western Training Provider Network said: “The generosity of two important regional levy-paying employers will make a huge difference.
“In essence we are decentralising a proportion of apprenticeship funding and providing our local economy with much needed funds to support people and small businesses to recover and prosper.
“The Share to Support scheme is supporting businesses to meet skills needs, build capacity, capabilities, and develop employment pathways. These levy pledges will be the beginning of real human stories of personal development and transformation.”
With over 700 apprenticeships now available, small businesses across the West of England are already using the scheme to both grow and upskill their teams through apprenticeships.
The Share to Support scheme is open to small businesses, based in the West of England and also supports businesses looking to progress their trainees or kickstarts onto an apprenticeship.
The apprenticeship fund is being delivered as part of the West of England Combined Authority’s Workforce for the Future Programme, co-funded by the European Social Fund.
Employers can pledge their unspent apprenticeship levy or find out how to get support with apprenticeships by visiting: www.wtpn.org.uk/apprenticeship-levy-transfer.