The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has announced that over 1,000 apprentices have benefitted from their apprentice levy scheme.
The scheme uses large business’ unused levy to support small and medium-sized enterprises, meaning that SMEs aren’t limited by their own revenue when considering training an apprentice.
The latest large companies to join the scheme are express delivery service, DPD and Staffordshire County Council.
A company is considered large in terms of the scheme if they have a payroll of over £3m per year.
The fund keeps levy money within the West Midlands, boosting job opportunities, skills and productivity by supporting more young people and adults of all ages into work.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said:
“These are incredibly difficult economic times given the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but we must do all we can to continue to create local jobs for local people.
“Our apprenticeship levy transfer fund helps do exactly that, and by using unspent cash at bigger firms, smaller and medium-sized businesses have created more than 1,000 opportunities for local people. Not only do apprenticeships guarantee work and an income, but they also help people to increase their skills and their employability.”
The levy scheme has come under fire since its introduction in 2017 with ambitions of creating 3 million new apprentices by 2020.
The announcement by WMCA is a positive step in the right direction for the future of apprenticeship schemes in the UK.