The lasting impact of apprenticeships spreads far and wide, with benefits not only for the apprentice and their employer but the community beyond.
An easy way of boosting that impact is through levy gifting, which allows larger organisations to gift some of their unused apprenticeship levy to smaller businesses to upskill their staff or take on an apprentice.
One business that gifted £100k towards apprenticeship training was one of the UK’s biggest listed food companies, Premier Foods. Premier Foods pledged to support apprenticeships in the Business Administration, Customer Service, Project Management and Accounts Sectors as a way of supporting these sectors and helping to fill the growing skills gap in business services and manufacturing.
The result of its gift has been astounding, with a total of 21 people taking up apprenticeship training, including:
The funds also helped 18 employers grow their business with a new apprentice or by upskilling their staff.
Community Minded Ltd, a not-for-profit community enterprise based in Withington, Manchester, work to support vulnerable adults and children. They accessed some of these funds so their apprentice Josie Shaw could start a Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship.
Jodie Chapman, Personal Assistant at Community Minded Ltd, said: “As with a lot of small businesses, we have suffered quite a bit of financial strain through the pandemic.
Receiving Josie's apprenticeship training fully funded has been a huge support to us, enabling us to support Josie through her learning.
This is something we may not have been able to do had those funds not been available.”
As well as learning new skills, Josie has boosted her self-confidence thanks to the learning she has been completing with training provider Total People.
Josie said: “I am really grateful to have been given the opportunity to access these funds for my apprenticeship training.
The apprenticeship training has given me the opportunity to learn on the job and enabled me to take that learning and put it into practice on a daily basis.
"Total People have been really supportive throughout.”
Manchester Credit Union is another organisation that received gifted funds from Premier Foods.
Amanda Wilcock, Chief Operating Officer, said: “Receiving the funding from Premier Foods has been a huge help. Accessing the funding was very straight forward and allowed us to offer positions and upskill more staff”
Employing over 4,400 dedicated colleagues at 16 manufacturing sites and offices up and down the country, Premier Foods produces some of the UK’s biggest household brands including Mr Kipling, Bisto and Ambrosia.
Julie Harris, L&D Business Partner for Operations and Early Careers, said when they gifted £100k of unused apprenticeship levy funds they were looking to identify organisations and small businesses who would be able to support their employees through apprenticeship programmes and make an impact within their business.
She said: “The Business Services and Manufacturing sectors are particularly important to Premier Foods as we have several job roles in both sectors where there is a growing shortage of skills.
We believe that by supporting the sectors we are contributing actively to feeding the supply of these relevant skills for the future.
Call us on 03333 222 666 to find out more about how we can help you to gift or access levy funds.