Kent County Council (KCC) leader Roger Gough appeals to more Kent firms to take advantage of £1.3m Apprenticeship Levy pot


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The leader of Kent County Council (KCC) is urging more firms in the county to apply for funding for apprentices.

A meeting of the authority's growth, economic and development cabinet committee, taking place on Tuesday, will hear that 84 employers are now using the money raised through its Apprenticeship Levy.

KCC leader Roger Gough is urging more businesses to take advantage of the funding available
KCC leader Roger Gough is urging more businesses to take advantage of the funding available

The apprenticeship levy is a form of taxation paid by employers. It is then stored in a fund which can be accessed to help pay for apprenticeship training costs.

KCC made a £1.3m contribution to the levy in 2021-22 - 25% of which is can transfer to employers in the county - which it now wants used to boost the local economy.

Those already using the levy in the county are supporting 198 apprenticeships with a further 100 in the pipeline as other employers take advantage of the funding.

KCC leader Roger Gough says the statistics so far are “very encouraging” but is keen to see more firms using levy cash to bring in "fresh thinking and new skills and give young people valuable work experience as the Kent economy bounces back from Covid".

He added: "We know from our own experiences of taking on apprentices across a wide range of areas within KCC what a fantastic asset young people are.

KCC's growth, economic and development cabinet committee will discuss apprenticeships this week
KCC's growth, economic and development cabinet committee will discuss apprenticeships this week

“From accounting and business administration, to social care and teaching, our apprentices want to learn, develop and lay the foundations for a successful career. Along the way, they share new ideas and inspire others with their commitment, energy and exciting potential.

“Latest figures show more Kent businesses are seeing the value of apprenticeships and I want to keep that upward trend going and underline that help is on hand."

For details on how to apply click here. For more details on apprenticeships for both workers and employers click here or contact the National Apprenticeship helpdesk by emailing nationalhelpdesk@apprenticeships.gov.uk or call 0800 015 0400.

Along with discussing the draft new Kent and Medway economic strategy, Tuesday’s cabinet committee will also hear that 22 16 to 24-year-olds are currently gaining work experience with KCC under the government’s Kickstart programme.

It is a £2 billion-funded national initiative aimed at creating high-quality six-month work placements for young people on Universal Credit deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment. A further 20 have completed their Kickstart placements with the county council. Ten secured employment with KCC and six gained work elsewhere.

Providing training for apprentices is seen as essential to boosting the county's economic backbone. Picture: EKC Group
Providing training for apprentices is seen as essential to boosting the county's economic backbone. Picture: EKC Group

Adds Roger Gough: “As our new draft economic strategy for Kent and Medway to 2032 makes clear, skills are the cornerstone of a thriving economy, attracting businesses to invest and enabling those businesses to be successful.

“Skills are also the gateway to securing better futures. That’s why, whether it be via an apprenticeship, a placement or other form of training, we want Kent’s young people to have every opportunity to gain valuable work experience to help them secure jobs and careers.

"With the levy’s help, I look forward to welcoming many more businesses to our boosting-skills-in-Kent journey.”

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