LARGE firms will be able to ‘easily’ pledge funds to smaller firms through a new UK Government scheme, in a move which Westminster said could help address skills gaps.
The new online service will allow apprenticeship levy paying firms to advertise their funding pledges on a dedicated gov.uk page, allowing for a ‘much wider’ range of businesses to browse and apply for the funds.
Global consultancy and construction firm, Mace Group, took part in a pilot to test the new system last month, pledging £100,000 and will transfer a further £350,000 to £500,000 each year for other businesses to access.
The UK Government said that the funds will be advertised later this month so that businesses in the construction sector can access and create apprenticeship opportunities, thus addressing skills gaps in the sector.
Mace Group CEO, Mark Reynolds, said, “The transfer of apprenticeship levy fees to fund our supply chain training costs will help us develop a much stronger pipeline of skilled people across the construction industry. Taking part in the pilot showed us the huge potential to support the recruitment of more apprentices to meet our skills shortages; and I would encourage every business that meets the criteria to take up the option.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak added, “Our small and medium-sized businesses are the cornerstone of our economy, and so I’m thrilled that we’re making it easier for them to take on apprentices.”
Levy employers can advertise available funds for transfer from today. For more information, click here.