Beckie Holmes, Customer Service Adviser at Total People, explains how smaller businesses can access free funding to help their employees upskill through apprenticeships.
What is Total People's £1million in 100 days campaign aiming to do for small and medium enterprises (SMEs)?
Total People's #1M100 campaign aims to provide free funding for SMEs for apprenticeship training and assessment.
"This money has been gifted from larger organisations who have surplus funds. SMEs can access these gifted funds to upskill their existing employees or take on a new apprentice, meaning they won't have to pay the co-investment charge for the apprenticeship training (that they would usually be required to pay) because the gifting employers are paying in full."
How can SMEs benefit from levy gifted funds?
"SMEs can only use these gifted funds for apprenticeship training and assessment and these funds can only be used for apprenticeship standards (not frameworks.) Funds will be paid monthly for the duration of the apprenticeship."
What steps do they need to take?
"Firstly, the SME needs to find their Government Gateway ID and Password.
This may have been set up previously to manage their organisation's tax returns and PAYE and could be held by a Partner, Business Manager or accountant. If an SME does not have a Gateway ID they can contact the HMRC Government Gateway team on 0300 200 3600 – (Select 'Option 3', then '1').
Once they have their government gateway ID, an SME should call us on 0333 242 5680 and we can help with the rest of the process."
How easy is the process?
"Very easy! Once an SME has their government gateway ID, our dedicated customer support team will talk them through how to create an account on the National Apprenticeship Service and next steps. This only takes a matter of seconds to complete and allows the gifting employer to connect with the SME, so that they can receive the funds."
How can they get in touch to start the process?
"All they need to do is pick up the phone and call us on 0333 242 5680 or visit https://www.totalpeople.co.uk/employers/sme-funding ."