Skills: new government service to help businesses access funding for apprenticeships

News

  • Employment and Skills

06 October 2021

Apprenticeships

Larger businesses which pay the Apprenticeship Levy are now able to transfer up to 25% of their annual levy funds to smaller businesses to allow them to create new apprenticeship opportunities.

A new online transfer service enables levy payers to advertise and pledge their levy funds to other businesses, such as those in the same sector or local community, who can search and apply for available funds to pay for 100% of their apprenticeship training and assessment costs (up to the funding band maximum).

IWFM has long advocated the opportunities that apprenticeships can offer, especially in a sector as diverse as workplace and facilities management. This potential was well illustrated in our recent webinar, Apprenticeships and their value in the workplace, which provided real life examples of how apprenticeships helped to launch the careers of two young FM professionals.

With our profession at a pivotal moment, facing the challenges of climate change, net zero, skills shortages and uncertainty over the future nature of the post-pandemic workplace, the need for a future-proofed workforce with the skills, training, vision and adaptability to respond to such mega trends has never been greater.

Apprenticeships have a vital role to play in improving social mobility, reducing skills gaps, developing a pipeline of skilled workers and supporting inclusive recruitment. IWFM therefore welcomes this latest government initiative, which will help smaller employers to invest in their workforce, whether by creating new apprentice roles or upskill existing employees.

However, we will continue to make the case that the Government should introduce greater flexibility on how Apprenticeship Levy funding can be spent and allow it to be used on a wider range of high-quality training, other than apprenticeships. This would enable many more people to be upskilled and retrained through lifelong learning, helping to deliver the greater range of the skills our profession and the economy needs, particularly in growth sectors areas such as automation and AI, and address the UK’s longstanding issue of low productivity levels.

If you have any comments on this article, or skills and training in the workplace and facilities management profession, please email: policy@iwfm.org.uk