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Vodafone Business offering SME’s £18,000 grant to train apprentices and employees

Staff Reporter
February 9, 2023

The scheme is being handled through Euan Blair’s  skills training organisation

Vodafone Business has launched a partnership with Euan Blair”s skills training organisation Multiverse, to improve the skills of SME employees.

Vodafone Business will provide small businesses with £18,000 each to improve the skills of existing employees in a pilot partnership with Multiverse. The money is coming from Vodafone’s Apprenticeship Levy.

SMEs can apply for a fully-funded place on Multiverse’s Business Transformation Fellowship where UK employees will receive training and accreditation alongside their current roles.

Half of UK small and medium-sized businesses have axed plans to take on apprentices because of the cost-of-living crisis, according to new research by Vodafone Business.

More than 1,000 SME business leaders across the UK were polled. Around 60 per cent of firms have taken on apprentices in the past. At least 51 per cent had axed their schemes because of soaring business costs such as energy and transport.

The UK government introduced the apprenticeship levy in 2017. Organisations with a payroll of more than £3 million must put 0.5 per cent of their total wage costs into the levy. The money funds apprentices or equivalent work-based learning programmes across critical disciplines such as cloud, Cyber, data DevOps, digital marketing, software development, and more.

Vodafone Business says more work is needed to inform SMEs on the options available to them regarding apprenticeship opportunities, it seems 44 per cent of SMEs are unaware of t financial support packages available through third-party schemes to employ new staff or provide training opportunities to upskill their workforce. Vodafone Business research indicates 21 per cent of SMEs said this level of support would take on an apprentice.

SMEs are often forgotten when discussions about apprenticeships take place. Barriers such as costs and time make it harder for them. Our focus is to make life easier for businesses”, said Vodafone business director Nick Gliddon.

Gliddon: focus is to make life easier for businesses

Ensuring the right digital skills are in place is essential for any business. Apprenticeship schemes are the best way to deliver these through applied, on-the-job learning. Vodafone’s donation will enable small businesses to invest in their people and develop to their full potential”, added Multiverses president Jeremy Duggan.

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