More than £250,000 is available to help support businesses in the borough who want to take on apprentices.
The cash is available through Dudley Council’s apprenticeship levy. This year the local authority has £255,000 of unspent levy to share with businesses looking to start taking on apprentices, or add to the number of trainees they employ.
Cash is also available for businesses to train and upskill existing employees as part of business growth plans. It ties in with The Dudley Deal, an informal agreement between the council and anyone who lives, works or runs a business in the borough. The Business Deal commits the local authority to support borough businesses in any way possible.
Levy cash can be used to fund qualification standards - from level 2 to level 7 - but cannot pay for the cost of salaries. The funds are used to pay for the qualification charged by the training provider of the businesses’ choice.
The council has a dedicated skills and business advisor available to work with firms to help identify whether an apprenticeship is suitable for a company, and can help advise on suitable types of apprenticeship.
Applications from all sectors will be considered but there is particular interest in supporting businesses in health, adult social care, advanced manufacturing and childcare. Councillor Simon Phipps, cabinet member for procurement, transformation and commercialisation, said:
"As a council we want to make sure this levy is used to benefit the local economy. Moving forwards, we are committed to making sure levy funds are invested internally so we can offer people in the borough apprenticeship and training opportunities with the council.
"In the meantime, we want to make sure this money still benefits local people. So this cash is now available to help local businesses to enhance the job and career aspects of their staff by sharing our unspent levy with them.
"Providing access to a diverse range of funding for new and existing businesses is a key aspiration of the Dudley Borough Vision. We are working on forging the future for all, by fostering innovation and providing access to a diverse range of funding for new and existing businesses."
For further information about the council’s apprenticeship support programme please visit their website.