Catering company's £100k gift offers Manchester businesses a route to apprenticeships

One of the UK’s largest catering companies has thrown its weight behind a campaign by apprenticeship leader Total People to fund more apprenticeships.

Elior, which operates catering contracts across the business, healthcare, education and leisure sectors, employs over 10,000 people across the country, has gifted £100,000 of its unused apprenticeship levy to support new jobs throughout Greater Manchester.

The company is the first to join Total People’s campaign to achieve £500,000 of levy gifting, after it was revealed that more than £250 million of apprenticeship levy funding was returned to the Treasury last year. The money could have been gifted to SMEs to support tens of thousands of new apprenticeships and help plug the current skills gaps, according to the apprenticeship provider.

In total, Elior has agreed to gift £480,000 of its unspent apprenticeship levy over the next three years. The first tranche of funding will provide apprenticeship training for around 33 workers in Greater Manchester in healthcare, hospitality and education sectors, helping small businesses to grow again after the pandemic and upskill staff.

Justin Johnson, HR Director at Elior UK said: “The hospitality industry suffered a real blow as a result of the pandemic. We’re keen to help kickstart growth, providing work opportunities in organisations where they’re most needed.

“Working closely alongside clients in education and healthcare, we’ve witnessed first-hand the challenges these immensely valuable sectors have overcome over the last few years. It’s an honour to be able to invest in their regeneration moving forwards.”

Amongst many other small businesses, the funds will support Little Tap Restaurant and Bar in Tarporley, Cheshire, to grow the company.

Myles Carr, Owner of Little Tap Restaurant and Bar said: “Working alongside Total People enabled me to access Elior’s funding, which was very beneficial after a difficult time for the hospitality industry.

“Elior’s gifted funds will have helped a huge amount of businesses that have survived the pandemic and want to grow. It really has helped me to focus on my team and give them a strong future working with my company.”

Apprenticeships can be made available to new and existing employees of all ages, and can be used to bridge skills gaps, increase the workforce or train in new technologies.

Levy paying employers are those with a wage bill of over £3m who must submit 0.5 per cent of their payroll towards the levy. Levy paying employers can ‘gift’ up to 25 per cent of their apprenticeship levy to other organisations to fund apprenticeships.

Total People provides apprenticeships in more than 30 different industries and connects people with employers to provide apprenticeship opportunities for anyone aged 16-plus.

For more details on apprenticeship levies and gifting unused levy funding to SMEs, visit or call 0333 444 555.

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