Millions of pounds of unspent apprenticeship levy funding can help ease business supply chain worries, according to apprenticeship provider Total People.
More than £250 million of funding which could have been spent on training new workers under apprenticeship levy funding last year was returned to the Treasury by levy paying employers. It could have been gifted to smaller SMEs and supply chain partners to ease delays and supply chain issues, says Total People.
As part of National Apprenticeship Week, which takes place this week, from 7-13 February, Total People is running a campaign to achieve £500,000 worth of levy gifting over the next 100 days. Additionally, the organisation is also creating 100 new opportunities for new apprenticeships with local SMEs.
The campaigns comes as a recent survey by Survation on behalf of London First found that almost half of respondents said they’d had to return unspent levy funding to the Government which could have been used to generate apprenticeships lower down the supply chain.
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 on new technologies.
Accountancy and healthcare firms can benefit from training up new staff to increase efficiency and speed up processes, while engineering or automotive companies can benefit from upskilling staff on new technologies such as modern equipment and electric vehicles.
Engineering company SPIE UK is just one of the businesses helping to build sector success after gifting £100k in unused apprenticeship levy for engineering apprentices. The providers of technical engineering solutions gifted their unused levy funds to help engineering apprentices in the built environment sector.
Trevor Nunes, SPIE UK HR director, said: “We immediately recognised that this was a great opportunity to work with Total People by gifting £100,000 to help develop the next generation of engineers across the built environment.
“These funds supported the attraction and retention of talent in a sector that continues to evolve in support of digital transformation and energy transition. Maintaining a focus on levy gifting will continue to be important for SPIE UK as we enter 2022 and look to the future development of our industry.”
As a result of levy funds gifted by SPIE UK, small business IDM Engineering was able to benefit, by hiring a new apprentice and growing the skillset of its current workforce.
Neil Jones, business development manager at IDM Engineering, added: “The benefits of levy gifting have enabled us to engage a senior member of the team, widen his skill base and knowledge and present him with a clear career path and future. We were also able to employ a new apprentice that will provide a natural successor to our senior site engineer.
“Normally, SMEs don’t always have the time to access levy gifting that can help towards an apprenticeship programme but having the support, advice and guidance from organisations like Total People has made the process so much easier and accessible.”
Melanie Nicholson, Total People managing director, said: “Our new campaign will make a real and lasting impact not only to people’s lives but to the economy as a whole.
“Our campaign is asking large and small employers to strengthen their future through apprenticeships. Using our apprenticeships expertise, each pound of gifted funding is helping to create real opportunities for individuals and businesses, while at the same time bridging skills gaps in key sectors and towns and cities.”
Levy paying employers are those with a wage bill of over £3m and see 0.5 per cent of their payroll go 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 provide apprenticeships in more than 30 different industries and connect people with employers to provide amazing apprenticeship opportunities for anyone aged 16+.
For more details on apprenticeship levies and donating funding to SMEs, visit www.totalpeople.co.uk/gift-your-levy or call 0333 444 555.