Businesses across the region are set to benefit from a pioneering match-making service designed to simplify the process to access apprenticeship funding in a service that aims to increase apprenticeship opportunities.
Cambridge Regional College has launched an Apprenticeship Levy Match Service available at LevyMatch.com, which will help larger companies pledge their excess levy funds to support other businesses in the area to fund apprenticeship training which might otherwise be financially unavailable to them.
The funding landscape for apprenticeships changed with the introduction of the apprenticeship levy and funding rules in 2017, whereby all organisations in Britain with a collective staff wage of more than £3million, have had to pay a levy towards apprenticeship training.
However, if that company does not use the funds within two years, their levy is taken back by HM Treasury. Nationally only 14% of eligible businesses have started to use their levy funds, leaving £1.3billion unspent in the Levy pot.
Trish Wright, Apprenticeship Funding Advisor at Cambridge Regional College, said: “We are aware there is a pool of financial support going to waste. Our aim is to encourage large companies with unused levy funding to pledge it back through our transfer service so that it can be used to support small and medium-sized companies to help train the talent of tomorrow in the region.
“It is a case of using it, move it, or lose it. This is an incredible opportunity to encourage the growth of apprentice training in our region and allow more people to flourish in their dream careers.
“Hundreds of young people benefit from the opportunity of earning and learning with us every year through the apprenticeship programme. Setting up the pledge system from employers in the region will make the funding available to give more young people that opportunity.”
The service is launched amid the latest survey from the Department of Education which shows that Cambridge Regional College is the top FE college in the region for employer satisfaction through training and apprenticeships.
The Government’s Further Education Choices Survey shows that 90% of employers are happy with the services we offer. This compares to the next highest scoring provider of 82%.
The new Levy Match service is staffed by a team of specialists at Cambridge Regional College who are ready to support employers throughout the levy transfer process.
Employers have the ability to simply pledge their funds for any organisation needing it or they can decide who their funding goes to, so, for example, they can help support their supply chain, sector, or not-for-profit organisations as part of their corporate social responsibility programme.
Cambridge Regional College is looking for levy-paying companies to pledge their excess funds as well as companies who would like to apply to receive funding from the levy pledge pot.
Trish Wright added: “Apprenticeships are a great way to attract and nurture new talent or upskill your current workforce but as a nation, the new system has struggled to fully take hold. We believe that through this new service we will help organisations navigate the process in their pursuit to develop talent for their business, their sector, and their region.”