This National Apprenticeship Week, Kent County Council is reminding employers they can get financial assistance from the Local Authority to help them take on an apprentice.
As a large employer, KCC pays an apprenticeship levy to the Government and, in return, receives levy funds to spend on apprenticeships for its own new and existing staff.
To date the Local Authority has supported 60 members of existing staff to complete training and has another 260 existing staff members on programme. KCC has also supported 69 new members of staff to complete apprenticeship training and has 80 new members of staff currently on programme.
Thanks to Government reforms that took place last year, levy payers can now share some of their levy funds with other employers, allowing them to take on apprentices too.
KCC can share up to 25% of its funds with businesses in Kent and is encouraging anyone who is interested in finding out more to register an interest now.
Shellina Prendergast, Kent County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communications, Engagement and People, said: “Kent County Council has supported more than 100 of its new and existing employees in achieving apprenticeships, with more than 300 others currently working towards theirs, and now we want to spread that success story across the county. Sharing a percentage of our levy with other businesses is an opportunity for KCC to support employers to improve the knowledge and skills of the wider Kent workforce. It will mean businesses can train and nurture a keen worker who is likely to go on to successfully fill a vital role within that organisation and it will also give apprentices in Kent an even wider variety of programmes to choose from.”
Eight Kent businesses have already received a share of KCC’s levy and others that wish to bid for funding are being urged to contact the Local Authority soon.
To be eligible to bid for funding businesses can be Kent employers in KCC’s supply chain; Kent employers in voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors; Kent schools that do not pay into the council’s apprenticeship levy; and levy or non-levy paying employers.
The business must be registered on the apprenticeship service (KCC can support companies with doing this); have an agreement with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA – this will be set up when they register on the apprenticeship service); only use the funds for training and assessment for apprenticeship standards (frameworks not eligible); and only use the funds for training and assessment of either new apprentices or existing employees undertaking apprenticeships.
KCC is not able to transfer funds to cover apprenticeship training that has already started. There are additional restrictions and criteria, which are detailed on the relevant page of KCC’s website.
Find out more about sharing KCC’s apprenticeship levy, including how to express an interest in applying for funds, here: https://www.kent.gov.uk/business/business-loans-and-funding/hire-an-apprentice
Read more about the Government’s changes to the apprenticeship funding system here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-levy-how-it-will-work/apprenticeship-levy-how-it-will-work#non-levy-paying-employers
Notes to journalists:
Kent County Council is continuing to offer apprenticeships to new and existing staff. Details can be found here: https://www.kent.gov.uk/jobs/starting-your-career/be-an-apprentice/guide-to-apprenticeships