Over 800 apprenticeships delivered as part of Liverpool City Region campaign
3 weeks ago
A campaign by Mayor Steve Rotheram to supercharge apprenticeship opportunities in the Liverpool City Region has taken a significant step forward.
Last year, the Mayor called on large employers to pledge to gift their unused Apprenticeship Levy to smaller local firms, allowing hundreds of new Liverpool City Region apprenticeships to be created.
New figures released to mark National Apprenticeship Week show the Combined Authority has so far helped to transfer almost £4m of unspent levy funding to pay for more than 800 new apprentices – generating a return on investment of more than £100m for the city region.
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:
“Having trained as an apprentice, I know better than most the life changing impact that good quality training can have on a young person’s future. For too long, our young people have been held back from fulfilling their full potential, not by a lack of talent, but a lack of opportunity.
“Currently, there is a national underspend of billions of pounds of Apprenticeship Levy funding which is diverted from the government’s stated mission to plug skills shortages. The £4m we’ve helped to transfer will help us to change countless young lives across our region but, with tens of billions of pounds of levy funding gathering dust in the Treasury, we’re only scratching the surface of what we could achieve.
“By pledging their Apprenticeship Levy to us, local businesses can stop this money going to other areas of government spend and ensure that local young people get access not only to good quality training, but the opportunity to succeed.”
Large employers are required by law to pay 0.5% of their wage bill towards an Apprenticeship Levy – which is collected by the government to fund apprenticeships. Levy payers can spend their own allocation on in-house apprentices or gift up to 25% of the money to other organisations.
Around £2.2bn of apprenticeship funding has been handed back to the Treasury by the DfE in the six years since the Apprenticeship Levy was introduced. The underspend in the city region is estimated to be in the tens of millions.
Since 2017, tens of thousands of jobs and apprenticeships have been created in the Liverpool City Region, supported by Mayoral initiatives such as the Young Person’s Guarantee and Be More, an award-winning UCAS-style apprenticeship and careers portal.