Large businesses will be able to easily pledge funds to smaller businesses through a new government service, to help create and recruit for more apprenticeship opportunities.
The online service will be rolled out from 13 September to make it easier for large employers that pay the Apprenticeship Levy to spend their levy funds.
Large employers can already transfer up to 25% of their annual levy pot to support other employers to take on apprentices. Many employers have already taken advantage of this opportunity including Amazon, Co-op and Lloyds Banking to support other businesses with a funding boost.
The new service will simplify the process for both employers looking to transfer funds and businesses wanting to access funding. Now, levy paying employers can advertise their funding pledges on a dedicated gov.uk page, enabling a much wider range of businesses to browse and apply for available funds.
It will mean levy funds can be used more easily to support apprenticeships in both larger companies and in smaller businesses in their sectors or regions, helping to address skills gaps in sectors such as construction, health, digital and the creative industries.
Apprenticeships are a crucial way of providing people with the chance to retrain, update their skills and move into the growth sectors. By making it easier for employers to benefit from apprenticeships, the new transfer service will contribute to the levelling up agenda, supporting young people to reach their career goals. It will also mean businesses will be able to choose to target their pledges towards sectors and communities they want to support.
Levy paying employers including Mace Group, Amazon and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust have already pledged £635,000 for the 2021/22 financial year with many more expected to pledge in the coming weeks.
Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Gillian Keegan said:
'Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for employers to ensure they have a highly motivated and diverse pool of talent in their workforce, while also enabling people to get the skills and experience they need to get ahead
I’m pleased we’re making it easier for smaller and medium-sized businesses to offer apprenticeships, which will unleash exciting new opportunities for apprentices and ensure that every business can benefit from the productivity and skills of apprentices.'
For more information, visit the GOV.uk website.