Cutting the costs of hiring an apprentice

Somerset employers have been celebrating this National Apprenticeship Week after benefiting from a scheme that enables them to fund apprenticeship training via Somerset County Council’s apprenticeship levy.

The initiative supports Somerset based employers in the care sector, early years sector and schools, enabling them to access the funding via a transfer of the Council’s apprenticeship levy funds, which means zero cost to the employer for the training.

Somerset County Council, in partnership with Somerset Skills & Learning, have now supported 15 Somerset employers by transferring over £100,000 of funding in the last twelve months.

Councillor Mandy Chilcott, Deputy Leader at Somerset County Council, said:

“Apprenticeships continue to give opportunities to all age groups and residents of Somerset. Alongside our own successful apprenticeship programme we are thrilled to have been able to support smaller organisations across our county over the last twelve months, via levy transfer. Working closely with Somerset Skills and Learning, we have transferred a total of £128,000 to organisations to support the qualification costs of their apprentices, who would otherwise not have been recruited.”

Mandy continued:

“We are committed to continuing this programme, ensuring we grow our own apprentice provision and support other businesses to offer opportunities in their organisations. We would be delighted to hear from any Somerset business that feels they would benefit from a levy transfer to provide an opportunity to recruit an apprentice into their workforce.”

Jade Hawthorne, Deputy Manager of Bridgwater based The Olive Tree Nursery, has been one of the businesses to benefit. Jade said:

“Receiving the levy transfer has made a massive difference and has enabled the nursery to continue to recruit apprentices of any age in this difficult time. We have used the saving on increased cleaning, PPE supplies and additional staff training.”

Other employers to benefit include Court Fields Pre-school in Wellington, Abacus in Taunton, Footprints in Burnham-on-Sea and Cheeky Cherubs in Minehead.

Somerset Skills & Learning offers apprenticeships across the county and is keen to work with more employers to increase the number of apprentices supported by the Council’s levy.

Dave West, Head of Employer Engagement at Somerset Skills & Learning, commented,

“This great initiative has helped remove the cost of paying for apprenticeship training and enabled more small employers, especially in the care sector and schools, to benefit from the high quality training of new talent at no cost to them. We’re grateful for the support from Somerset County Council and keen to work with more employers to benefit from apprenticeships, funded by the levy transfer.”

For more information on apprenticeships and your business accessing a levy transfer, contact Somerset Skills & Learning by email at