Why not let WCC help fund an apprenticeship at your business?
Apprenticeships are a great way for SMEs to invest in future skills either by recruiting new talent or supporting existing staff to expand their workplace skills and knowledge and pursue further qualifications. Two well-established programmes delivered by Warwickshire County Council's Warwickshire Skills Hub are supporting SMEs to do this, as Future Skills Business support adviser Louise Stolz explains.
In Warwickshire we have a high standard of apprenticeship-providers, many of whom are approved by us and train our own apprentices.
The opportunities to reskill and recruit staff to a site are endless and we have two programmes that can support Warwickshire SMEs to do this: Warwickshire County Council Apprenticeship Levy Share Programme and Warwickshire Apprenticeship Progression Programme.
Our Apprenticeship Levy Share Programme helps businesses cover the associated cost of apprenticeship training, allowing them to address skills gaps and shortages in industry and support growth. We work with businesses to help them explore which apprenticeship pathways meet their business needs.
This enables us to identify a local provider and access Warwickshire County Council’s own levy funds, which can be shared with small and medium sized businesses. In 2022, we shared £643, 919 of our Apprenticeship Levy funds with 70 Warwickshire businesses, across 13 industry sectors, supporting 107 apprentices in 25 different qualifications.
We received the most applications to our programme from Childrens Early Years Childcare and Adult Care, followed by Hospitality and Manufacturing. The most popular apprenticeship standards were for Adult Care Worker Levels 2, 3, 4 and 5, Early Years Educator Level 3, Commis Chef Level 2, Business Administration Level 3 and Bricklaying Level 2. However, we also supported apprenticeships in Plumbing and Domestic Heating Technician Level 3, Operations/Departmental Manager Level 5, Geospatial Level 3, Field Care Supervisor Level 5, Engineering Technician Level 3 and many more!
Among businesses to have benefited are Storm Geomatics Ltd and Farmers’ Fayre.
Polly Hopkins, from Storm Geomatics. Said: “When I approached Warwickshire Skills Hub for support with an apprenticeship opportunity for one of our employees, I was very pleasantly surprised. The whole process of registering with the WCC Levy Share Programme was completely painless and took no time at all due to the guidance received from the Skills Hub staff.
“In addition, we were offered the opportunity to record a professional careers film promoting what opportunities we have at Storm Geomatics. This video transformed our recruitment possibilities and consequently brought in an excellent standard of candidates, some of whom are still with us today.
“I have continued to reach out to the Skills Hub when I need further support. Their help is always given with no fuss and a great deal of efficiency and Storm Geomatics hope to continue this relationship far into the future.”
Sarah Doyle, of Farmers Fayre, said: "We have recently enrolled six members of our team on apprenticeships with the amazing support of the Warwickshire County Council Levy Share Programme. This has enabled us to fund all our training costs, which will enable us to develop and upskill them to Level 3 and Level 5 ILM Team Leading/Supervisor & Management, an accredited qualification.
“The application process was completed smoothly and swiftly with the support of our training provider and WCC and they were able to register for their courses within a matter of weeks. I think this is an amazing benefit for both business and team. It’s a win, win!"
Meanwhile, if you are a business who wish to invest in your staff and build upon a previous qualification which contributes to the new needs of the business, you can also apply to our Warwickshire Apprenticeship Progression Programme. Available to Warwickshire micro and small to medium size businesses, the programme offers a £1,000 incentive which is paid directly to the employer.
To be eligible, the learner must have completed a previous apprenticeship with their current employer in the last three years and be about to enrol on a new apprenticeship course. There is no requirement for the apprenticeship to be at a higher level than the previous one, but it must support the business and the individual employee's progression.
The first £500 is paid to the business on completion of the apprenticeship start declarations and the second payment of £500 on the first satisfactory assessor visit.
* Warwickshire Skills Hub not only provides apprenticeship support but can also potentially unlock a whole variety of business services from our partners such as staff training, business growth funding, property search, tender opportunities and growing your network. If you would like to know more about how Warwickshire Skills Hub can support your business, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com