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Fund to support businesses develop employees

Dudley Council is keen to make apprenticeship funds reach as far as possible across the borough by supporting businesses who would benefit greatly from such investment.

Apprenticeships have changed

The traditional apprenticeship role has changed. With the introduction of new apprenticeship standards there are now many programmes available even up to degree level. The breadth of apprenticeships and qualifications available has also significantly increased and they now cover a wide range of roles and jobs.

All apprenticeship programmes will utilise a mix of on and off the job training, all contributing towards the apprenticeship standard. In many cases this will include 20 percent of the employees paid hours, but this is determined by the type of apprenticeship.

Dudley Council’s support for businesses

Dudley Council is welcoming requests for support from its Apprenticeship Levy Business Support Programme.

Employers, such as Dudley Council, pay a levy to develop apprentices, those employers that have accrued unused funds by paying the levy can assist other organisation.

The unused funds can be used by others employers to help pay for their apprenticeship training costs. These funds can be used to pay for the training costs associated with a new apprentice or for upskilling existing employees.

Understanding apprenticeships

An apprenticeship is a genuine job with an accompanying programme of skills development.

Apprentices can gain the technical knowledge, practical experience and the wider skills they need for their immediate job and future career. The apprentice will gain this through a wide mix of learning in the workplace, for example, shadowing and working alongside experienced staff, formal off the job training and opportunities to practice new skills in a real work place.

Information to consider before applying

Dudley Council would like to hear from interested businesses who are looking to start employing apprentices, increase their intake of apprentices or would like to upskill their existing employees.

The council holds particular interest in the following sectors, although the ability to apply for the fund is not limited to these areas:

  • Health
  • Adult social care
  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Childcare

For more information, read the Apprenticeship Levy Support Programme leaflet

A Dudley Council skills and business advisor will work with you to identify whether an apprenticeship is the best route for your organisation, they will advise on suitable types of apprenticeships for your employees and business. 

It is important that when applying for the fund you are clear about the benefits to Dudley borough as a result of being successful with the application.

It is also important that you read the criteria and checklist before you complete the form.

The criteria

Before completing the application form please ensure that the following checklist applies:

  • Your business must have a specific presence in Dudley Borough, either located in the borough, employing people from Dudley Borough or doing a significant amount of business in the borough.
  • You will need to pay for the salaries of apprentices. The transfer of funds can only be used for the apprenticeship training costs.
  • Funds can only be used for new apprenticeship courses.
  • Funds can only be used to pay for apprenticeship standards. View the current apprenticeship standards
  • It is your responsibility to select the training provider of your choice, although our skills and business advisor can work with you to advise on suitable types of apprenticeship for your organisation and potential training providers.
  • If you are already an apprenticeship levy payer, you must have already spent your levy for the year before applying for Dudley Council’s fund.
  • Your apprentices will normally need to be employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week, although in some cases the apprenticeship can accommodate part time workers.
  • Your request must be for future apprenticeships. The request cannot be backdated on training that has already commenced.

Apply for the fund

Dudley Council will need to agree the details of the transfer of funds with your organisation. For example, this includes which apprenticeship standard, how many apprentices and the cost.

You will also need to complete the following steps to ensure the request meets Government’s ‘transfer of apprenticeship’ rules. Dudley Council can provide help and guidance to get you started:

  1. Register your business onto the Apprenticeship Service
  2. Add your apprentices onto the Apprenticeship Service
  3. Fund payments will be made monthly to your apprenticeship account
  4. Authorise the Education Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA) to make monthly payments on your behalf to your chosen training provider

Apply - complete the short request form for Dudley Council’s Apprenticeship Levy Support Programme