Thousands of workers and businesses benefit from region's Apprentice Levy Transfer Fund - The Solihull Observer

Thousands of workers and businesses benefit from region's Apprentice Levy Transfer Fund

Solihull Editorial 10th Jan, 2024   0

A SCHEME set up West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to fund apprenticeship training for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has supported more than 4,000 people and 1,683 businesses across the region.

The Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Fund enables large employers to pledge their unspent levy in the region to fund the training of apprentices at SMEs.

A total of £47.6million has now been pledged to the scheme and the WMCA has launched a fresh push to get even more SMEs to take advantage of it through its levy donor delivery partners.

The WMCA is now encouraging even more SME employers to recruit apprentices so that they can benefit from the scheme.

One of the 4,000 apprentices supported is Zahid Stevens, aged 45, from Halesowen.

After being made redundant, Zahid is now studying for a Level 2 Rail Engineering Apprenticeship with his new employer McGinley Support Services Ltd.

The apprenticeship is being delivered by City of Wolverhampton College in partnership with National Infrastructure Solutions (NIS) – a leading provider of rail industry training – at the college’s specialist rail training sites at the Wellington Road campus in Bilston and the Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation in Dudley.

Councillor George Duggins, WMCA portfolio holder for productivity and skills and leader of Coventry City Council, added: “The Apprenticeship Levy Scheme is a great way for big business to help local, smaller businesses grow fresh talent through apprenticeship opportunities.

“By donating their unspent levy they can make a real difference in the lives of young people and those starting a new career, as well as allowing businesses to upskill their existing staff with apprenticeship qualifications.”

Zahid’s apprenticeship was funded by the levy transfer scheme through the support of donor, Lloyds Banking Group, one of the very first donors of the WMCA levy scheme and a key supporter of its initiation.

Andrew Assam, Lloyds Banking Group’s ambassador for the Midlands, said, “Working with the WMCA, we’ve been able to support 736 apprentices by sharing £6.23m of our levy funds.

“Apprenticeships are a great option and not just for the school leaver. People can grow their skills through on-the-job training and receive a salary and qualifications which can kick start their career.”

Businesses wishing to register their interest can sign up for more information here.

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