The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has urged more social care employers to take advantage of a scheme which funds apprenticeship training for small and medium-sized firms.
The WMCA set up the Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Fund to cover the costs of apprenticeship training at smaller businesses, through large employers donating their unspent levy.
Over the past month, the scheme has created 84 new apprenticeships in the region’s social care sector.
Care homes that are already benefiting from the scheme include Castle Meadows Nursing Home in Dudley, where three nursing assistants have enrolled on Level 5 apprenticeships – equivalent to a degree – in medication administration.
The private care home, which has 60 staff who are currently looking after 30 residents, accessed the levy funds through Dudley Council.
The local authority works with the WMCA to offer transfer of levy funds to small businesses in Dudley, especially in the areas of adult care and childcare.
‘Although these are very difficult times, the care sector is a key area where there are still opportunities for local people,’ said West Midlands mayor, Andy Street.
‘It’s brilliant news that we have been able to support 84 new apprenticeships in just one month through our levy transfer scheme.
‘None of this would be possible without large employers donating their unspent levy, and it’s great to see care homes investing in better qualifications for their staff.
‘I’d urge any care providers from across the West Midlands that are planning to take on new apprentices, or want to upskill their existing workforce, to get in touch with us and find out how we can help,’ added Mr Street.
The apprenticeship levy is charged by HM Revenue and Customs on all businesses with a payroll of over £3 million.
The levy money is held digitally by the government, and businesses across the country can utilise the funds by paying for apprenticeship training and assessment costs by bringing in new talent or plugging skills gaps with their staff.
After a two-year period, unspent levy contributions are ‘sunset’ and retained by the government.
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