SME Apprenticeship Funding Available In West Midlands with Baltic
Written on: 12 June 2020
Written by: Frances Hardcastle
[employer, West Midlands]
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SMEs in the West Midlands can now take advantage of a £40m apprenticeship funding pot, which aims to double the number of Apprenticeships in the region. The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) have teamed up with trusted providers and large levy-paying businesses to deliver 100% funding for apprenticeship training with no co-investment fees for SMEs.
This scheme means that local employers can enrol an apprentice on any one of our apprenticeship training programmes with only wage-related costs to pay.
At Baltic Apprenticeships, we’ve already been able to help businesses make the most of the scheme.
Andy Milner, Director at Coventry-based Clockwork IT Limited, said: “The levy transfer scheme was a godsend to us, a small business, in providing training for one of our apprentices. This has allowed us to enter into the apprentice’s second stage of learning with the confidence that the finance is in place for the duration of the scheme. Now we can concentrate on our apprentice without the worry of whether any downturn could affect their future.
“Ultimately the transfer process was very straightforward – the Government Gateway is never the easiest of websites to navigate, but in conjunction with our [Baltic] account manager we figured out how to do it, ultimately proving successful and straightforward!”
Am I eligible?
The scheme is open to businesses employing apprentices within the West Midlands Combined Authority area, covering a population of over 4.2 million people. There is a specific focus on STEM-based apprenticeships, especially the growth of digital skills within a range of sectors, including advanced manufacturing, life sciences, professional services, digital & creative, logistics & transport and low carbon technology.
Funding is available for the training of all 16-18 year olds on all apprenticeship standards, for any size company. Funding can also be used to employ apprentices aged 19+ enrolling onto STEM programmes at level 3 and above – which means that the scheme can be used to access any of the Apprenticeship Standards programmes we offer.
The funding comes from the transfer of apprenticeship levy contributions by larger organisations, facilitated by the business engagement team at WMCA. Businesses who pay into the apprenticeship levy ringfence a proportion of their total wage bill for the purposes of apprenticeship training. If they are not able to use the money in their own organisation, they can transfer this to another company for them to benefit from an apprentice.
The West Midlands Combined Authority are taking a strategic approach to the levy transfer mechanism to unlock the potential of apprenticeships for the region’s businesses. By engaging with levy-paying organisations, WMCA is able to leverage this funding for the benefit of SMEs.
Trusted apprenticeship providers – like the team at Baltic – are working with WMCA to identify eligible businesses and guide them through the process.
What can Baltic Apprenticeships offer through this scheme?
We’re really excited to be playing our part in helping SME employers to grow their own digital talent and creating some amazing career opportunities for young people in the West Midlands.
If you’re an employer looking to grow your business, recruiting an apprentice is a fantastic way to access the new talent you need. We specialise in digital and tech apprenticeships, offering programmes in Digital Marketing, Software Development, and IT infrastructure.
The WMCA apprenticeship funding can be used on the following programmes:
If you’d like to know more about any of our programmes, how an apprentice might fit into your organisation, or have questions about the WMCA levy transfer scheme, we’d love to help. Please get in touch with our team for more information.