Disability charity United Response has announced it will create 400 apprenticeships so that it can claim some of its money back from the apprenticeship levy.
The charity has appointed Interserve Learning & Employment (ILE) to provide the level 2 and 3 health and social care apprenticeships and will launch its own leadership programme later this year.
The levy was introduced in April and requires organisations, including charities, with a staff payroll of more than £3m to pay 0.5 per cent of their total wage bill to the government. In turn, the government provides £15,000 to the employer to offset the cost of implementing the scheme.
With an income of more than £76m, United Response approached a number of providers to look at how they could best use it to secure a return on their investment from high quality apprenticeships delivered to meet their evolving needs.
Following a competitive bidding round, it appointed ILE, which will now provide a combination of services including recruiting apprentices for vacancies, improving productivity of existing staff through upskilling and developing talent through career progression.
Amanda Nicholson, head of organisational development for United Response, said: “Developing a skilled, knowledgeable and confident workforce is a priority for United Response, to ensure we provide the highest quality services and positive outcomes for the people we support across the UK.
“The implementation of the levy enables us to enhance the ways in which we do this and we are excited about the opportunities partnering with ILE will bring.”
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Chris Peel, ILE managing director, said: “These are exciting times for the sector, with significant opportunities emerging to help large employers meet their future skills needs and to develop new programmes to support people with their career development and further education in the work place.
“We are delighted to be part of United Response’s ambitious plans for their workforce training and development.”
ILE is a subsidiary of major logistics firm Interserve Plc.