LJMU and LCR collaboration creates 44 apprentices for autism charity

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LJMU has collaborated with LCR to transfer £132,000 of unspent Apprenticeship Levy to Autism Initiatives, funding 44 new apprentice care workers for the charity.

The transfer, the first of its kind in the Liverpool City Region, was facilitated by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Apprenticeship Brokerage Service.

Larger employers with a pay bill of more than £3m per year have to pay an Apprenticeship Levy of 0.5%, which they can then use to fund apprenticeships.

Research from the Open University has revealed that more than £3 billion in apprenticeship levy funding in England remains untouched, as organisations use only 14 per cent of available funding. 

Mark Power, LJMU’s Interim Vice Chancellor, said: “Like many large employers, we pay the Apprenticeship Levy but cannot spend everything we put in. Rather than see that money wasted, we have worked with the Combined Authority to facilitate this transfer of funds to Autism Initiatives, who will be able to benefit from the creation of 44 new apprentice care workers. This fits with our commitment to providing opportunities for all within the city region. I’m very pleased that, with the expertise of the Apprenticeship Brokerage Service, we’ve been able to make this happen, and are pleased to confirm that we have identified a further £89,000 available for transfer to employers; please contact the brokerage service for more information.”

Sandra Johnston, Head of Learning and Development, from Autism Initiatives, which supports people with autism, said: “These new apprentices will be working as Adult Care Workers, making a real difference to the lives of adults living with autism, while gaining level 2 and level 3 qualification.  We cannot wait for them to get started and are very grateful to LJMU for its generosity in making this transfer and to the Combined Authority’s Apprenticeship Brokerage Service for its expertise in making it happen.”

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “As a former apprentice I have always backed apprenticeships as a great way for individuals to progress and for businesses to develop the skills they need.

“The introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, while well-intentioned, has been problematic at best, to the extent that nationally £3 billion is unspent. I will continue to lobby government for our city region to have control of our share of the unspent Levy but until that happens, transfers like this, facilitated by our very knowledgeable Apprenticeship Brokerage Service, mean that this money does what it is supposed to do and creates valuable new apprenticeships.”

Companies wishing to transfer their unspent Apprenticeship Levy can only do so once the recipient company or organisation has been identified, along with specific courses and training providers. The Combined Authority’s Apprenticeship Brokerage Service provides a free service to companies and organisations across the Liverpool City Region, putting companies in touch with potential recipients, and putting appropriate courses and training providers in place.

For more information on the Combined Authority’s Apprenticeship Brokerage Service, please contact apprenticeships@liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk or visit the dedicated LCR website to register an interest.

For further information about LJMU’s Apprenticeship Levy, please contact Michael Monaghan, Apprenticeship Levy Project Lead, email m.a.monaghan@ljmu.ac.uk


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