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HOT Learning pilots levy transfer project to boost Early Years apprenticeships

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We’re collaborating with Covéa Insurance to support work-based learning throughout Calderdale

Our Learning and Apprenticeships team is working with Covéa Insurance, to fund work-based apprenticeship courses via levy transfer. The collaboration means that Covéa’s unspent levy funds can be transferred to HOT, to support the delivery of apprenticeships in Early Years; a profession that is currently under national shortage.

The need for Early Years apprentices is critical. There is a significant scarcity in people taking on early years career opportunities across the country, which is having a detrimental affect on small businesses that are already struggling to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

The HOT Learning and Apprenticeship team has initiated a pilot to establish Collaboration Opportunities and connect with local and regional levy paying firms that have unspent funds, in order to transfer these to smaller businesses and support local people with essential skills that are in high demand. 

HOT Learning and Apprenticeships Team

Supporting Small Businesses

SMEs are restricted to the number of apprentices they can employ, due to funding. Business owners and managers are facing difficulty generating more income as staff to child ratios mean they are constrained to the number of children they can enrol.  This, compounded by a national recession and low employee retention rates, puts Early Years providers in a challenging situation.

This is something the Trust is experiencing first-hand at our Children’s Centres. Apprenticeships are a key element of our recruitment and retention programme, as we have a real need to build the workforce, but have limited access to further funding. To relieve some of theses challenges, the Learning and Apprenticeship team is piloting the levy-transfer project alongside Covéa Insurance, with our Children’s Centres as the first recipients.

Collaboration Opportunities

Through the Collaboration Opportunities pilot, we’ve been able to support our Children’s Centres by recruiting apprentices and funding their qualifications; connecting levy payers like Covéa Insurance with SMEs looking for financial support to upskill and build their workforce.  

Louise Kenyon, Graduate and Apprenticeship Recruitment Partner comments: ‘At Covéa Insurance, our aim is always to make a positive difference to people’s lives; for our customers, employees, suppliers, business partners and the wider communities we serve. This is why, when Halifax Opportunities Trust approached us, we jumped at the opportunity to transfer some of our unused apprenticeship levy funding to support with their ongoing projects.’

Helping Learners and Businesses Grow

Three apprentices have been recruited through HOT’s collaboration with Covéa Insurance, in the roles of; Early Years Practitioner Level 2, Early Years Educator Level 3 and Early Years Lead Practitioner Level 5. All three apprentices are enjoying their programme, learning while working towards their professional qualification.

All apprentices are settled in their work placements and making good progress. They are enjoying their jobs and the fact that they can learn while working and upskill, in order to fully qualify, makes their progression even more satisfying.

“I appreciate being given the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge to gain further qualifications, which are helping develop my career”.

Apprentice funded through pilot

Mags Ciewiertnia, Quality & System Lead at Halifax Opportunities Trust, commented: “I would like to encourage any employer who is considering taking on an apprentice or is looking to further develop their workforce to get in touch and find out how we can support and how the HOT apprenticeship programme can help with making hiring an apprentice as easy and cost-effective as possible. We are super proud for the new workstream and collaboration with Covéa Insurance for what this provides”.

HOT Learning and Apprenticeships is really thankful to Covéa Insurance for making it possible to invest in upskilling the early years workforce. We are optimistic that this collaboration will lead to great things, not only through the strong links created across the region, but for the opportunities created for local people to work towards their aspirations.

To find out more about the Collaboration Opportunities apprenticeships project at HOT, please email apprenticeships@regen.org.uk

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