To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week (February 7-13), Somerset County Council is reminding local businesses and organisations of the support on offer to help them recruit apprentices.
As a large organisation within Somerset, the Council has the ability to support smaller organisations with apprenticeship qualification costs via an apprenticeship levy transfer.
These transfers allow smaller organisations to offer fully funded apprenticeships, meaning they only have to pay the apprentice’s salary.
Cllr Mandy Chilcott, Somerset County Council Cabinet Member for Resources said: “Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to grow and develop your workforce, either by recruiting new apprentices or upskilling existing members of staff.
“Over the last 18 months, we have worked with various training providers to promote this opportunity and have committed £350,000 to support small organisations across Somerset, including numerous Early Years settings.”
There are many benefits that apprentices can bring to an Early Years setting, adding new skills and enthusiasm.
Molly Derham is an apprentice at Little Adventures Nursery in Cheddar.
“Being able to work with Little Adventures Nursery has been a life changing opportunity,” Molly said.
“I have been given the chance to gain lots of experience and have fun whilst being here. I have loved creating bonds with the children and being involved with helping them develop.
“I’ve had so much support from the other staff, allowing me to gain experience and confidence which will help me to earn my qualification.”
Employing an apprentice allows organisations to ‘grow their own’ talent, and Somerset County Council is able to transfer up to 25% of their apprenticeship levy to smaller businesses and charities to cover apprenticeship costs.
Monika Eskins, an Advanced Early Years Apprentice, said: “The course is brilliant; lessons were always interesting and informative, even during lockdown.
“The course itself helped me to gain understanding in child’s development, their needs and the importance of following their interests. It also helped me to get familiar with the curriculum and engaging teaching methods.”
For more information about organising apprenticeships, please speak to your local college now or email HROD@somerset.gov.uk to discuss an apprenticeship levy transfer.
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