April 2021

University urges employers to take advantage of new apprenticeship funding and unveils major new contracts

By Melanie Hall

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University College Birmingham is urging employers to take up the “significant” new apprenticeship government funding – starting today – as it unveils a raft of major new contracts.

Gail Tipper, director of the University’s Centre for Apprenticeships, said: “From today, employers can get up to £3,000 per apprentice, irrespective of age and level. This is a really significant incentive but, as part of the Covid-19 support package, it only lasts until September, so employers need to take action if they want to take advantage of this opportunity and do something great.  

"Apprenticeships can be used to support existing staff of any age in their career development, learning new skills, knowledge and behaviours, as well as offering new talent opportunities to start their career within an organisation. You might be looking for training in leadership, supervisory skills, business administration, digital or a hands-on trade.

"We work with employers across a range of sectors, from education and healthcare to hospitality, events and sport. We are passionate about skills development with a purpose and can support employers throughout the journey, from recruitment and onboarding to developing bespoke solutions and celebrating success."

"We know first-hand that financial support can make all the difference to a business supporting an apprentice"

Gail Tipper Director of Centre for Apprenticeships, University College Birmingham

University College Birmingham provides apprenticeships from Level 2 entry roles to Level 6 degree level in a wide variety of areas across the sectors. The off-the-job training element takes place in University College Birmingham’s expanding, cutting-edge campus facilities, with £130 million invested in these over the past six years. This ensures training is to a gold standard. 

The University works with everyone from NHS hospitals and mental health trusts, councils, universities and grant-maintained and academy trust schools through to hospitality providers such as the NEC Group, luxury hotels including Hampton Manor and Michelin-starred restaurants.  

It also works with high-profile sports clubs including Birmingham City Football Club, West Bromwich Albion Football Club and Worcester Warriors. 

More recently, Shell Energy Retail, with its focus on carbon neutral homes and businesses, has come on board to upskill at least 80 apprentices a year over the next four years in operations and business management. 

And launching towards the end of April is a ‘shaping leaders’ programme, based on the Level 3 Team Leader standard, for 40 employees at London-based artisan wholesale baker The Bread Factory.  

To cater for the digital age, a Level 3 Digital Solutions Technician programme in collaboration with University College Birmingham’s School of Business, Tourism and Creative Industries is also set to be launched in June 2021. 

Gail said the new funding incentive would help businesses and organisations explore the sheer range of apprenticeship opportunities on offer. 

“We know first-hand that financial support can make all the difference to a business supporting an apprentice,” she said. “We firmly believe that to maximise the number of businesses supporting apprentices, especially small and medium-sized organisations, there needs to be meaningful advice and support to do so. 

“We can guide employers through the whole journey, including showing them how to access the new digital funding systems and incentives, if they need help.” 

To find out more about the Centre for Apprenticeships, please get in touch by emailing Business Development Manager David New at d.new@ucb.ac.uk. You can also visit our Apprenticeships for Employers webpage here.

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