Consortium to donate £500,000 training funds to Lancashire SMEs

A new network has been launched to help large businesses to donate their unused apprenticeship levy funds to smaller organisations within the county.

The Lancashire Levy Transfer Network has already been pledged £500,000 of support from Bespak, Boohoo, Burnley Borough Council, Futaba Manufacturing UK Limited, Lancaster University, Lancashire County Council (LCC), Myerscough College, Rapid Recruit, Royal Mail and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

The aim of the network is to redistribute funds accrued by private and public sectors who have a wage bill of more than £3m and are required to pay the apprenticeship levy. These organisations are able to transfer up to 25 percent of their levy funding to any other employer. Otherwise, unspent funds are retained by the government.

Mick Cartledge, chief executive of Burnley Borough Council, said: "The Network is a relatively simple way by which large employers can ensure that they can retain 25 percent of their unspent levy funding for smaller businesses within Lancashire.

"It is great to already see a number of large businesses in Lancashire pledging to donate a significant amount of unspent levy to ensure it helps other businesses in Lancashire."

Sarah Kemp, chief executive of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, commented: "This initiative will ensure that more of the apprenticeship levy funds collected in Lancashire will be reinvested in Lancashire, benefitting businesses and apprentices alike.

"It is great that so many major employers are already backing the Lancashire Levy Transfer Network and have pledged more than half a million pounds to fund apprenticeships in partner businesses."