Somerset employers are celebrating National Apprenticeship Week (February 8-14) after benefiting from an initiative that helps them to fund apprenticeship training.
Somerset County Council, in partnership with Somerset Skills & Learning, has supported 15 Somerset employers by transferring more than £100,000 of apprenticeship levy funding in the last 12 months.
The scheme supports Somerset based employers in the care and early years sectors, and schools. They can access the funding via a transfer of Somerset County Council’s apprenticeship levy funds, resulting in zero cost to the employer for the training.
Deputy Leader Councillor Mandy Chilcott said: “Apprenticeships provide real opportunities for Somerset residents of all ages. The theme for this year’s week of celebration is Build for the Future. That’s never been more important in these very challenging times.
“Alongside our own successful apprenticeship programme, we are thrilled to have been able to support smaller organisations across our county over the last 12 months, via levy transfer. Working closely with Somerset Skills and Learning, we have transferred a total of £128,000 to organisations to support the qualification costs of their apprentices, who would otherwise not have been recruited.
“We would be delighted to hear from any Somerset business that feels they would benefit from a levy transfer to provide an opportunity to recruit an apprentice into their workforce.”
Jade Hawthorne, Deputy Manager of Bridgwater based The Olive Tree Nursery, has been one of the businesses to benefit. Jade said, “Receiving the levy transfer has made a massive difference and has enabled the nursery to continue to recruit apprentices of any age in this difficult time. We have used the saving on increased cleaning, PPE supplies and additional staff training.”
Other employers to benefit include Court Fields Pre-school in Wellington, Abacus in Taunton, Footprints in Burnham-on-Sea and Cheeky Cherubs in Minehead.
Somerset Skills & Learning offers apprenticeships across the county and is keen to work with more employers to increase the number of apprentices supported by the Council’s levy.
Dave West, Head of Employer Engagement at Somerset Skills and Learning, said: “This great initiative has helped remove the cost of paying for apprenticeship training and enabled more small employers, especially in the care sector and schools, to benefit from the high quality training of new talent at no cost to them. We’re grateful for the support from Somerset County Council and keen to work with more employers to benefit from apprenticeships, funded by the levy transfer.”
For more information on apprenticeships and your business accessing a levy transfer, contact Somerset Skills & Learning by email at firstname.lastname@example.org