A childcare worker is completing an apprenticeship at YMCA Trinity where she once lived, thanks to a scheme which uses unspent levy payments to get people into work.
Sam Hope gave birth to her son at 19 after moving into its Ipswich accommodation and she is now doing a Level 3 Early Years Childcare Apprenticeship after Suffolk County Council transferred apprenticeship levy through a New Anglia LEP initiative.
The Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Scheme works with large employers who have pledged funding and matches them with a small non-levy employer to support the recruitment of the apprenticeship.
So far, the scheme has resulted in 170 levy shares totalling £1,384,906 and more are in the pipeline across Norfolk and Suffolk.
Suffolk County Council has transferred £250,000 of levy payments to fund apprenticeships for early years workers, teaching assistants, roofers, chefs and electricians and other roles.
Sam, now 28, works at YMCA Childcare in Providence Lane and is among those whose training is being paid for through the scheme. She said: “Doing your coursework while doing the job means you know what to expect, which is really helpful. When you are studying at college you don’t know what the setting will be like, so I find this a lot easier.
“When I did my Level 2 training at Suffolk New College it wasn’t funded for my age group and I wasn’t able to complete my Level 3 that way. So, this is good for people who don’t know what they want to do when they are younger and want to start something later on.”
Returning to YMCA Trinity to develop a career has been particularly rewarding, both professionally and personally. “It’s strange because some of the staff are still here, but it’s nice because I feel I am doing a little bit for them,” commented Sam. “I am going to be giving a PowerPoint presentation to those from our Parent and Child Accommodation, so it’s great to be able to support them.”
Lucy Watling, Organisational Quality & Development Manager at YMCA Trinity, said: “Being able to access levy transfer funding for apprentices has contributed to YMCA Trinity supporting 21 apprenticeships in the last 12 months. We support people to realise their potential and we’re really proud of Sam and what she is achieving in her career.”
Chris Bally, Deputy Chief Executive of Suffolk County Council, said: “Since setting up the Levy Transfer Process in August 2020, the County Council has received requests from more than 20 local businesses and been able to support over 50 individual apprentices, including care home workers, school workers, roofers, electricians and carpenters.
“We know these transfers make a huge difference to both the businesses and the apprentices they employ, and we appreciate that the work they do supports the people of Suffolk and the wider Suffolk economy.
“With the support from the LEP we have been able to reach employers who will really benefit from the levy transfer, particularly at a time when we’ve all felt the impact of COVID-19. It’s been great to be able to support these organisations and individuals.”
To find out more about the scheme, call Alison Ward, Levy Transfer Co-ordinator on 07901 207114 or email [email protected]