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Apprenticeship levy transfer scheme launched

The government has launched a service to help businesses create more apprenticeship opportunities by creating a funding pot for the levy

Large businesses will be able to pledge funds to smaller businesses through a new government service, to help create and recruit for more apprenticeship opportunities.

The online service, which is now available, will 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.

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.

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.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: ‘Our small and medium-sized businesses are the cornerstone of our economy, and so I’m thrilled that we’re making it easier for them to take on apprentices.

‘Our Plan for Jobs is equipping people with the skills they need to find work, and I’m immensely proud to see these new reforms providing even more apprenticeship opportunities.’

Global consultancy and construction company Mace Group took part in a pilot to test the new system last month, pledging £100,000 and will transfer a further £350,000 to £500,000 each year for other businesses to access. The funds will be advertised on the dedicated gov.uk page later this month so that businesses in the construction sector can access and create apprenticeship opportunities, addressing skills gaps in the sector.

Other employers that have pledged funds during the pilot include:

• Amazon (£50,000)

• University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (£200,000)

• Thurrock Council (£100,000)

• Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust (£75,000)

• HomeServe (£40,000)

• East Sussex County Council (£40,000)

• London Borough of Islington (£30,000)

Mace Group CEO Mark Reynolds said: ‘The transfer of apprenticeship levy fees to fund our supply chain training costs will help us develop a much stronger pipeline of skilled people across the construction industry.’

Director of HomeServe Foundation Helen Booth said: ‘We welcome the apprenticeship levy transfer service and are delighted to be part of the beta pilot.

‘We think it’s more important than ever that some of the levy funding is used to support the micro and small firms in the trades industry so they can build the skills base they need to handle the increase in demand for their services across the sector. Apprentices are a brilliant way to bridge the skills gap in the industry.’

Guidance: Transferring your apprenticeship levy to another business

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