Equifax have gifted a portion of their unspent Apprenticeship Levy funds to businesses across England, supporting them to invest in apprenticeships and create new job opportunities in their regions.
Since 2018, the global data, analytics and technology company have donated £175,000 to businesses in Darlington, Birmingham, Warwick, Cranfield, Huddersfield and Oldham who wanted to hire apprentices and create local jobs but didn’t meet the criteria for full government funding. With this donation, these businesses have been able to provide young people with valuable work experience and helped them develop new tech and digital skills.
This generous donation is not only beneficial for businesses who received it, but also for the future of the UK’s tech and digital sector as these funds created apprenticeship opportunities in Digital Marketing and IT Support – helping bridge the digital skills gap.
The Apprenticeship Levy is a ringfenced training fund that all employers with an annual salary bill of over £3m automatically pay into. The system was launched in 2017 to encourage large organisations to invest in apprenticeships. Last year (2021/22), apprenticeship levy funding supported 225,590 apprenticeship starts in England, this was 64.4% of all apprenticeships starts last year.
Levy transfers can be used to cover the costs of apprenticeship training, particularly for medium sized businesses who do not always qualify for 100% funding.
We caught up Julian Fontenell, Regional Talent Acquisition Manager at Equifax, to discuss their reasonings behind donating their unspent levy:
“Here at Equifax, we are advocates of the UK Government’s Levy Transfer Scheme that allows larger organisations to transfer 25% of their apprenticeship levy funds to support other businesses. The contribution of funds can cover the cost of apprenticeship training and assessment, making a difference to smaller organisations that may not have the capital to invest in apprenticeships. We’re extremely proud to support the scheme.”
“We are also advocates of apprenticeships ourselves and continue to invest in them, so we know how much of an impact hiring an apprentice can have. There are many positives of an apprenticeship for young people too such as earning whilst learning, no student debt or fees, gaining experience from professionals and having the opportunity to work in different areas or on projects to enhance experience. There’s also the soft side of the role, communication skills, office etiquette and growing confidence in ability. We’re really pleased that our donation has helped people start their career in the tech and digital sector through an apprenticeship.
Partnership Education were a beneficiary of the Equifax Levy Transfer, Manging Director Matthew Perrett said:
“The support Equifax provided us was invaluable. Apprenticeships form a core part of our business and Equifax’s transfer allowed us to hire new people whilst we waited for some of our learners to complete their apprenticeships.”
This is a great example of corporate responsibility in action. By donating their unused levy funds, Equifax is helping other businesses gain access to the Apprenticeship Levy which they may not have been able to do otherwise. This will enable more people to gain valuable skills and experience that will help them in their future careers.