Taking on an apprentice can be a great way to bring fresh thinking and new skills into your business, give a young person the chance to gain valuable work experience and help the Kent economy bounce back from COVID.
And as 2022’s National Apprenticeship Week (NAW2022) wraps up, Kent County Council (KCC) is reminding local employers looking for high-quality training to improve the knowledge and expertise of their workforce that help is at hand.
As well as offering expert advice and support to Kent employers to guide you through the process from start to finish – helping you recruit the right apprentice, or get some professional development for your staff – KCC may be able to provide funding from its Apprenticeship Levy.
Government reforms mean the County Council can transfer up to 25% of its levy funds to other employers who meet the criteria.
To qualify for levy assistance, businesses must show they will use the money to improve Kent lives. Specifically, this includes giving young people in the county the best start in life, contributing to economic growth or helping older and vulnerable residents.
There’s more about the criteria, and how to apply, on the KCC website here: www.kent.gov.uk/business/grow-your-business/hire-an-apprentice
You can also speak to our team of experts to help you recruit the right apprentice for your business and find out what funding might be available – just call 03000 41 40 05 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Roger Gough, Leader of Kent County Council and Chair of the Kent & Medway Employment Task Force, said: “There’s no doubt that sharing the levy has had a big positive effect.
“Overall, 67 employers and 166 employees are being supported by KCC Apprenticeship Levy funding helping businesses and young people gain new knowledge and skills – all of which is good news for Kent’s economic recovery.
“A well-trained classroom assistant supports our children; a skilled carer helps our elderly and vulnerable residents; and Kent County Council is proud to be at the forefront of the scheme.
“Now as the country comes out of COVID we want more employers to come forward and take up the opportunity of using a share of KCC levy money to invest in the future through quality apprenticeships.”
Latest government research found 86% of employers considered apprenticeships had help them develop skills relevant to their organisation. A total 78% of employers also said apprenticeships helped them improve productivity.
The Kent Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (KASBAH), and Anchor Support Services Limited, which specialises in supporting adults with learning disabilities, are just two organisations which have used KCC levy funds to put staff through specialist Adult Care Worker apprenticeship training.
Apprenticeship training is available to anybody over the age of 16 and there are subjects and levels to suit the needs of most organisations. You can read first-hand experiences of some of KCC’s talented apprentices here: www.kent.gov.uk/jobs/starting-your-career/be-an-apprentice
Businesses wanting more advice about hiring an apprentice can go to the Kent Choices website or contact the National Apprenticeship Helpdesk by emailing email@example.com or calling 0800 015 0400 (8am to 10pm, 7 days a week).