£120,000 scheme created 15 new apprenticeships to get people in South Tyneside on the career ladder

A council fund helping people in South Tyneside to get their foot on the career ladder created 15 apprenticeships last year.
Picture c/o PixabayPicture c/o Pixabay
Picture c/o Pixabay

Since April 2017, the council has been required to pay the government ‘apprenticeship levy’ which aims to support workforce development and skills shortages.

South Tyneside Council pays 0.5% of its total salary bill into the levy each month, which it can then draw from to fund training.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As a levy paying employer, the council can also transfer up to 25% of its annual contributions to other employers to help pay for training and assessment costs.

Last year, South Tyneside Council set up an apprenticeship Scholarship Levy Fund to allow uncommitted funds to be transferred towards businesses and individuals.

A call for applications last summer resulted in 15 apprenticeships being funded at a cost of £120,000.

Cabinet member for Regeneration and Economy on the council, Coun John Anglin, welcomed the success of the scheme.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said: “We’re delighted that local residents and businesses have benefited from this fund.

“15 apprenticeships have been funded, in a variety of fields ranging from carpentry and joinery to business analysis and adult social care.

“Creating a skilled workforce is vital to unlock productivity and drive economic growth in the region.

“We’re looking forward to be able to support more apprenticeships with the Scholarship Fund.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

To qualify for the fund, applicants need to meet council objectives around supporting residents from disadvantaged backgrounds, economic growth and skills and prosperity.

Apprenticeships typically last between 12-48 months and all awards are made on the basis that either the business is based in South Tyneside or the apprentice is a South Tyneside resident.

According to a report prepared for the council’s Education and Skills Panel on January 15, apprenticeship costs will be deducted from council accounts monthly for the lifetime of each apprenticeship.

In the first round of apprenticeship funding, a total of nine apprenticeships were linked to South Tyneside Homes.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Roles ranged from plumbing, electricians and carpentry/joinery to customer services, housing and a business analyst.

Other apprenticeships included adult social care providers and a business admin role at manufacturing firm, Metec.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency has published guidelines for the transfer of levy funds, which can only be used to support the learning and assessment of apprentices and can’t be used to pay wages.

A further call for applications to the Scholarship Fund will be considered in March 2020.