AN ALLIANCE of Lancashire businesses and organisations have come together to support apprenticeships across the county.
This comes with the launch of the Lancashire Levy Transfer Network, in which well-known local employers have pledged to donate over £500,000 of apprenticeship levy funds.
These include Bespak, Boohoo, Burnley Borough Council, Futaba Manufacturing UK Limited, Lancashire County Council, Lancaster University, Myerscough College, Rapid Recruit, Royal Mail and the University of Central Lancashire.
Burnley Borough Council chief executive Mick Cartledge said: “The Network is a relatively simple way by which large employers can ensure that they can retain 25 percent of their unspent levy funding for smaller businesses within Lancashire.
“It is great to already see a number of large businesses in Lancashire pledging to donate a significant amount of unspent levy to ensure it helps other businesses in Lancashire.”
The network aims to help businesses all around the county develop their workforces and retain funding while they recover from the effects of the pandemic.
Organisations in both the private and public sectors who have a wage bill of more than £3 million are required to pay the apprenticeship levy and are able to transfer up to 25 percent of their levy funding to any other employer.
The Lancashire Levy Transfer Network aims to simplify the process of matching up businesses and aims to ensure that levy-payers do not lose their underspent funds to a central government pot and instead, the maximum amount of levy investment is retained locally.
Lancashire Enterprise Partnership chief executive Sarah Kemp said: “I wholeheartedly welcome this initiative.
“It will ensure that more of the apprenticeship levy funds collected in Lancashire will be reinvested in Lancashire, benefitting businesses and apprentices alike.
“It is great that so many major employers are already backing the Lancashire Levy Transfer Network and have pledged more than half a million pounds to fund apprenticeships in partner businesses.”
As well as private sector organisations, charities are amongst those that stand to benefit, with domestic abuse charity The Liberty Centre having already done so.
Liberty Centre Chief Executive Gwen Bleasdale said: “Being part of the apprenticeship scheme has enabled us to retain and develop a skilled and talented member of staff, by offering an important development opportunity.
“During the programme, they have enhanced their skills and expertise, and we have benefitted from the positive impact on the organisation and services.”
To find out more, go to: https://www.lancashirelevytransfernetwork.org.uk/.