National Apprenticeship Week 2022: £32m raised through levy transfer fund

A scheme set up to fund apprenticeship training for SMEs across the West Midlands has secured more than £32 million which will go toward educating 2,280 people.

Launched three years ago, the Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Fund is run by the West Midlands Combined Authority and allows some of the UK’s biggest businesses to cover 100 per cent of the training cost of apprentices at SMEs.

This is done by these large employers donating their unspent levy to the combined authority rather than seeing it returned to the Government.

To date, a total of £32.7 million has been pledged with 725 SMEs benefiting from the fund.

National Apprenticeship Week 2022

This week is National Apprenticeship Week, the 15th annual celebration highlighting the achievements of apprentices and their employers across England. This year it is themed around ‘Build the Future’, focussing on the benefits apprenticeships can have on individuals, businesses and communities.

There are apprenticeship opportunities available now across Birmingham and the wider West Midlands, with organisations like Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP Skills Hub providing useful information and listing vacancies.

We have been involved in the Ladder for Greater Birmingham apprenticeship campaign since its launch in 2018 and we also run an annual awards celebrating apprentices, employers and training providers.

Click on the live links above to find out more and get involved.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said: “Thanks to the generosity of large organisations donating their unspent apprenticeship levy to us, more than £30 million has been raised to boost apprenticeships across the West Midlands.

“That means thousands of people making the first step in their careers, with hundreds of local SMEs taking on staff they wouldn’t otherwise have been able to afford.

“Young people especially have been benefiting from our levy cash which is incredibly important given they have been the hardest hit by the pandemic.”

The apprenticeship levy is charged by HM Revenue and Customers and held centrally by the Government. Businesses across the country can apply for funding to pay up to 95 per cent of the costs of training their apprentices.

National Apprenticeship Week 2022 HS2 in recruitment drive Council partners with campaign National Apprenticeship Week 2022: £… National Apprenticeship Week 2022: C…

Unspent levy contributions are ‘sunset’ and retained by the Government after a two-year period. Under the West Midlands Combined Authority’s deal, regional organisations can transfer their unspent levy to its fund which keeps the money in the region and avoids the risk of it being sunset.

Cllr George Duggins, portfolio holder for productivity and skills and leader of Coventry City Council, added: “This is a fantastic milestone and it is great to see so many big businesses get involved to help local businesses grow fresh talent through apprenticeship opportunities.

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