£4 million of funding is available for Greater Manchester businesses to train staff through the Apprenticeship Levy Matchmaking scheme, helping businesses to recover following the impact of pandemic.
The Greater Manchester scheme pairs large employers with unspent apprenticeship levy funds, with small and medium sized businesses who can be donated the money for training. Businesses choosing to donate funds can ensure their unspent apprenticeship levy remains in the local economy, rather than returning to the Treasury.
The Greater Manchester apprenticeship levy matchmaking service has supported more than 240 apprenticeships, in over 50 businesses, since August 2019.
Businesses are being urged to sign up to the scheme, to use the apprenticeship funding as a means to upskill their workforce to recover and adapt to the impact of Covid-19 on business finances and market conditions.
Cllr Sean Fielding, Greater Manchester lead for employment, skills and digital, said:
Improving the skills of our workforce is absolutely essential to the success of Greater Manchester’s economy.
“Apprenticeships build higher level and technical skills both for young people and for existing and older employees, helping them to become more productive and efficient.
“The levy matchmaking service provides the funding for the apprenticeship training at no cost to the employer and it also helps to develop great relationships between big companies and the smaller organisations they support in this way.”
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, added:
As we go into a recovery phase from the COVID-19 crisis it is clear that we must renew our focus on improving skills and investing our workforce.
“We know some people will lose their jobs in sectors that have been worst hit, but there will be opportunities for them to retrain and develop skills in areas of growth.
“This funding will help businesses to recover and to grow, particularly in the sectors identified in our local industrial strategy.”
Mo Isap, co-chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, said:
As our region recovers from COVID-19 the need to support our young people and ensure that our workforce has the skills required to thrive is greater than ever.
“That’s why I’m calling on any organisation with unspent apprenticeship levy to take part in the GMCA Apprenticeship Levy Matchmaking Service.”