Apprenticeship levy paying employers nationwide are being urged to transfer any unused levy funds to support the vital work being carried out by the health care sector during times of unprecedented pressure caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Employers have 24 months to use their funds once they enter their apprenticeship service account, after which they expire.
The level of strain that the care sector is currently under is well documented, and comments released by The Kings Fund last summer suggested that the sector was grappling with a shortfall of more than 120,000 vacancies even before the pandemic hit.
Employers in any sector that pay the apprenticeship levy can donate up to a quarter of their unused funds to other employers such as health care providers in either their immediate community or anywhere else in the country that has a need.
As Joe Turner, Chief Revenue Officer at Acacia Training, comments: “Many care companies have a payroll of less than £3m which places them below the levy-paying threshold. This consequently limits their available funding to just 10 apprentices at any one time and the cost of recruiting further apprentices or upskilling existing staff via an apprenticeship programme simply isn’t an option for them.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that the care sector needs to recruit new staff and upskill returning staff at a pace never before witnessed. Gaining access to the un-used apprenticeship funds of larger organisations could, therefore, make a significant impact for the better.”