Solent’s Transfer to Transform initiative reaches £3m apprenticeship pledges

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The Solent Apprenticeship and Skills Hub’s Transfer to Transform initiative is celebrating reaching £3 million of apprenticeship funding being pledged by large employers across the region.

Transfer to Transform was created with the purpose of providing a platform for larger businesses to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Solent region, by reallocating funding for apprenticeship training to smaller organisations.

This has helped the region’s smaller businesses take on more than 200 new apprentices in a range of roles across various industries.

One of these, New Forest Activities, have enrolled six apprentices in roles ranging from business administration to outdoor activity instructor. Apprenticeships let them train staff during quieter periods in preparation for the busier ones.

Jodi Fair, Manager of the Solent Apprenticeships & Skills Hub, said: “When we first launched Transfer to Transform back during the first lockdown, we were just hoping to support a handful of small, Solent-based employers that needed a boost at a difficult time.

“We have exceeded that initial goal and worked with dozens of employers – large and small - that now use Transfer to Transform as part of their strategy. The progress and impact we have had to date gives us confidence to continue this effort and make a real difference to the success of all employers across the region.”

The Apprenticeship Levy is paid by all employers with an annual pay bill of more than £3 million, at a rate of 0.5% of their total pay bill, to fund apprenticeship training. It is estimated that over £2bn of apprenticeship levy funding in the UK remains unused from the last two years according to a Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development study.

When first launched in July 2020, Transfer to Transform sought to give local businesses a boost in funding for skills support amidst the national Covid lockdown. It is now the most popular service from the Solent Apprenticeship & Skills Hub, with pledges coming from nearly 20 large apprenticeship levy-paying employers to this initiative.

These include: Southampton City Council, Portsmouth City Council, B&Q, CooperVision, Southern Co-ops, ExxonMobil, Utilita, and University of Portsmouth. As a result, Transfer to Transform initiative has accrued more than £3m in pledges with over two-thirds of this amount now redistributed to smaller businesses across the region to use for apprenticeship training. 

Councillor Dr Darren Paffey, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Children and Learning, said: “In just two years Transfer to Transform scheme has grown to make a fundamental difference to the lives of over 200 people, as well as the small businesses that benefit from the scheme and the communities that depend on them.”


Source: The Business Magazine