A brand new online apprenticeship levy transfer service launched by the Government has gone live with more than £2.5m on offer already available to SMEs, this month/October.
The Government portal is intended to simplify the process for both employers looking to transfer funds and smaller businesses wanting to access funding.
There is currently more than £2,591,000 pledged by large firms including DPD, Amazon and HomeServe PLC, as well as local government groups like Bradford Metropolitan District Council and academic institutions such as the University of Leicester.
Under the regulations, large organisations are allowed to pledge up to 25% per cent of their unspent levy to smaller businesses, including trades firms, that don’t pay the Government’s training tariff.
The pledges include up to £1m specifically aimed at SME construction and engineering firms looking to take on a trades apprentice.
Helen Booth, Director of the HomeServe Foundation, which is working to dramatically increase the number of trades apprenticeships in the UK, said: “The fact that there is already such a large pot of apprenticeship cash being pledged suggests larger organisations are keen to direct their unspent training funds towards smaller companies that need the financial support.
“With skills shortages right across the trades sector, as well as others, it’s more important than ever that the funding is used to support the micro and small firms that play such a crucial part in the trades and construction industry.
“What needs to happen now is for those small firms to step forward and apply for the support they need to grow their skills base.”
The levy transfer service went live for pledges from large organisations last month and has already seen millions of pounds offered to support small businesses.
The funds can be used to cover 100% per cent of training and assessment fees, and the current pledges will be available until the end of March 2022.