Public and private sector join forces to create new apprenticeship fund in Salford

6 March, 2019

A new apprenticeship fund is to be launched to unlock new talent and close the skills gap in Salford.

The Salford Skills For Business Apprenticeship Fund is believed to be the first public/private/third sector partnership of its kind which gifts on a city-wide basis.

This trailblazing new fund, which Salix Homes is proud to be a part of, will invest in apprenticeship training within small to medium sized organisations (under 250 employees) to help create more quality and sustainable apprenticeship roles for Salford residents.

The fund will also help existing employers close skills gaps in key sectors such as health and social care, digital, manufacturing and construction, hospitality, business and professional services.

Thanks to the introduction of the apprenticeship levy and associated reforms, organisations can now gift up to 25 per cent of its training levy to an unlimited number of employers.

Salford City Council and its partners, Apprenticeships at Salford City College, University of Salford, Bupa, Salix Homes and Seddon will be gifting up to £250,000 of apprenticeship training funding to small and medium sized organisations. The fund is expected to grow as more organisations confirm funding in the coming weeks and months.

The partnership has also secured a further £114,000 Greater Manchester Combined Authority funding to support a proportion of apprentices’ salary costs.

The new fund comes after the council’s Workforce Panel unanimously approved an Apprenticeship Strategy in January to boost talent in its organisation and in the city. This forms part of the council’s wider commitment to developing employment and skills for residents, as well as raising employment standards - the principles of which are outlined in the City Mayor’s charter.

The aim of the fund is to attract, develop and retain the best possible talent in the city by creating opportunities for people of all ages, to undertake relevant qualifications, helping to raise skills, capabilities and aspirations.

Councillor John Ferguson, Lead Member for Workforce and Industrial Relations at Salford City Council, said: "The approval of the Apprenticeship Strategy and launch of the fund demonstrates our commitment to apprenticeships. Working in partnership with a number of Salford organisations we’re investing in apprenticeship training to create more quality and sustainable apprenticeship opportunities across the City. This is something we are passionate about, providing opportunities for people of all ages to learn, unlock their true potential and use their skills to benefit the people of Salford".

David Hynam, CEO, Bupa UK said: "We’re proud to support the Salford Skills for Business Apprenticeship Fund. As an organisation with a significant presence in Greater Manchester, we’re committed to providing high quality training opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds in the local community. More than 5% of our UK workforce are in roles where they earn salaries while undertaking on-the-job training and we hope this fund will help other businesses to follow our lead."

Councillor John Ferguson continues "We will work with businesses to make sure apprenticeship opportunities are of decent quality, are sustainable and benefit Salford residents that face particular challenges. Apprentices will be able to learn and grow while on the job in a coordinated, strategic approach to meet the ever changing needs of our city."

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