Businesses in Cheshire are being encouraged to bolster their workforce using apprenticeship funding.
More than 100 new apprenticeship opportunities are set to be created through leading provider Total People across the region to help local businesses bridge skills gaps and increase their productivity.
Apprenticeships can be available to new or existing employees and allow companies to increase their workforce, upskill current employees and improve productivity, with small businesses eligible to have around 95 per cent of the training costs covered by the government.
Chester firm IDM Engineering has already benefitted from taking on a new apprentice and growing the skillset of its current workforce.
Neil Jones, Business Development Manager at IDM Engineering, added: “The benefits of levy gifting have enabled us to engage a senior member of the team, widen his skill base and knowledge and present him with a clear career path and future. We were also able to employ a new apprentice that will provide a natural successor to our senior site engineer.
“Normally, SMEs don’t always have the time to access levy gifting that can help towards an apprenticeship programme but having the support, advice and guidance from organisations like Total People has made the process so much easier and accessible.”
As part of National Apprenticeship Week, which runs from 7-13 February, Total People is aiming to work with businesses to generate 100 new apprenticeship opportunities in the North West over the next 100 days. Additionally, the organisation is working with large businesses to generate over £500k of gifted levy funding which can cover the cost of apprenticeships for SMEs.
Apprenticeships can allow accountancy and healthcare firms to benefit from training up new staff to increase productivity and speed up processes, while engineering or automotive companies can benefit from training up staff on new technologies such as modern equipment and electric vehicles.
Melanie Nicholson, Total People Managing Director, says businesses who create apprenticeships tend to have faster growth and more productive and loyal staff.
She said: “For many businesses in Cheshire, people are busy with plenty of work being generated and long waiting lists for jobs or orders. At the same time, new technologies and challenges mean that workforces are facing a new challenge to bridge the skills shortages that they might have in place.
“Apprenticeships can allow businesses to train their new or existing workforce to gain the industry skills that are in demand so that they can continue to thrive, while individuals can benefit from career progressions and promotion, which in turn can benefit their families and wider communities.
“At Total People, we can talk you through every step of an apprenticeship, whether that is recruiting a new member of staff, or upskilling an existing one, through to supporting them on the learning element of their journey.”
Total People provides apprenticeships in more than 30 different industries and connect people with employers to provide amazing apprenticeship opportunities for anyone aged 16+.
Graded as good by Ofsted, Total People can support employers through every step of the process. We have a wealth of experience in providing apprenticeships in sectors including business administration, engineering, hospitality, management, construction and childcare.
For more details on taking on an apprentice, visit www.totalpeople.co.uk/sme-funding
or call 0333 444 555.