Unique Senior Care is first business to receive Apprenticeship Levy funding
A business which provides high quality care to vulnerable people in their own homes has become the first to be supported by a groundbreaking Apprenticeship Levy transfer from Warwickshire County Council.
Unique Senior Care will use the £50,000 transfer to recruit and train new staff and upskill existing employees at their base at Hatton Rock near Stratford-upon-Avon.
The funding is the first transfer from the county council's Apprenticeship Levy which was introduced last year, and is a pilot for a new approach that could potentially be rolled out more widely.
Like all large employers in England, Warwickshire County Council pays 0.5% of its annual employee pay bill into the government's Apprenticeship Levy. These funds, available to recoup for apprenticeship training and assessment costs, are designated principally to support apprenticeship training within the business itself, but up to 10% can be diverted to other employers to help fund their apprenticeship training costs.
The percentage of transferable funds will rise to 25% from April, enabling large employers to further invest in their supply chain and/or companies to which they have a connection.
Warwickshire County Council see’s the levy-sharing facility as an ideal opportunity to support a local business and some of its vulnerable residents. Warwickshire is among the first local authorities in the country to divert funds in this way - and Unique Senior Care is the first beneficiary.
The company was formed in 2011 by Philip Maundrill and Philip Wright-Howarth, both of whom saw family members experience levels of home care which they felt should have been much better. Eight years on, Unique Senior Care has more than 200 staff supporting more than 300 clients.
Due to the high quality of care provided, those clients include referrals from the county council. Now the Levy transfer funding will enable the company to further upskill staff through training by nationally-renowned provider Pier Training, to the wider benefit of the clients and their families in Warwickshire.
Unique Senior Care director Philip Maundrill said: "We came into the industry eight years ago with no pre-conceived ideas, just a desire to deliver care how we would want it for our family members.
"We have been fortunate to employ excellent people, both in management and those who deliver care on a daily basis who carry our reputation in the community. However, attracting and retaining staff is an ongoing challenge across the industry so this grant from Warwickshire County Council is hugely helpful.
"It will go towards recruiting new staff and also upskilling people in our existing workforce which is very important. A proportion of the money will go towards enhancing the skills of the leaders in our organisation which will make a big difference.
"The relationship we have with Warwickshire County Council is really positive and this funding will help us to continue to provide the best possible care for the people of Warwickshire in their own homes."
Warwickshire County Council apprenticeship levy manager Dan Nash said: "The council is delighted to support Unique Senior Care in this way. We are investing heavily in apprenticeship training within the council but, under this legislation, large employers can transfer up to 10% of their funds to another employer.
"Unique Senior Care delivered a great bid to invest in their own staff. They have contracts with the county council already, so we know the quality of care they provide to our residents, but this funding will help ensure that they can provide more of that care to vulnerable members of our communities."
Warwickshire County Council leader Cllr Izzi Seccombe said: "Unique Senior Care is a fantastic company which has grown from almost nothing to employing more than 200 people. Now they will enjoy the benefit of the Apprenticeship Levy transfer for which they are the perfect first recipient because the work they do helps the community by enabling vulnerable people to live independently with the support of high-quality care packages."