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Transfer to Transform: how we are supporting local SMEs

As a large employer and ethical business we believe in giving back to our local community and economy where we can. We’ve recently taken the opportunity to support the Transfer to Transform scheme, an initiative of Solent Business & Skills Solutions

Transfer to Transform allows employers to support each other by utilising unspent Apprenticeship Levy funding. Larger businesses can pledge unspent levy funds which are then used to support SMEs across the Solent, North Hampshire and Surrey regions with the costs of apprenticeship training.

Over the last 2 years, it is estimated that over £2 billion of the UK Apprenticeship Levy funding collected has gone unspent. The Transfer to Transform initiative was first launched in 2020 during the pandemic, enabling large employers to positively impact local apprenticeship opportunities by redistributing levy funds. This directly translates into increased levels of employment and economic growth across our regions. 

Investing in the future workforce

Commenting on the positive impact of Transfer to Transform, Liquid Friday’s COO Joe Taffurelli said:

“Supporting apprenticeships not only empowers individuals to gain valuable skills and experiences, but it also strengthens industries and communities by investing in the future workforce. This is a priority for Liquid Friday, and I am extremely proud that we can support other businesses in the Solent Region. 

Apprenticeships are a powerful tool for promoting economic growth and reducing unemployment. By investing in apprenticeships, as we have done, businesses can cultivate a skilled workforce that is better equipped to meet the demands of business. Whilst the Apprenticeship Levy is not perfect, enabling employers to share 25% of their “pot” with other businesses is a fantastic way to level up entire areas and increase the reach of Apprenticeship Support.” 

Who Liquid Friday is supporting

Through Transfer to Transform, Liquid Friday are taking applications from local SMEs for support with the costs of apprenticeship training. By redistributing our unspent levy funds, we enable them to take on and train new staff or upskill existing members of their team. 

So far Liquid Friday has committed to supporting four growing SMEs in our region, including:

ANS Digital Transformation Ltd.

Based in Fareham, ANS Digital Transformation provides service management solutions to enterprise telecoms organisations around the world. 

Currently employing 25 people and have one apprentice already in role, completing a Level 4 Software Development Apprenticeship. 

Through Transfer to Transform, Liquid Friday’s redistributed levy funds will allow ANS Digital to upskill three employees through a Sales Apprenticeship in order to enhance the sales performance of their team in order to meet growing demand and further grow the business.

Hair OTT

As part of a group of destination hair salons in the Hampshire area, employing 85 people, Hair OTT operates an award-winning hair apprenticeship academy. 

Ever since apprenticeships began, Hair OTT has consistently recruited and trained apprentices as well as progressing trainees through to apprenticeships. 

As part of the business’s continuous development strategy, they use apprenticeships to upskill staff to allow them to become assessors and further professionalise their role.

Hair OTT had used up all of their levy funding reserves for the current year, but still had an apprenticeship role to fill. 

About the Apprentice Levy

The Apprenticeship Levy was introduced by the government in 2017 to create sustainable funding for apprenticeships.  All employers with a wage bill of more than £3 million per year must pay 0.5% of their payroll as a levy tax which is then reinvested back into apprenticeships. 

The levy means there is more money than ever for apprenticeship training and allows employers to choose which apprenticeships they offer, how many and when.

Once an employer has fulfilled apprenticeship needs and opportunities within their own business, any remaining levy funds go unspent and revert to central government. 

Fantastic initiatives like Transfer to Transform allow employers to instead divert those excess funds to help support the growth ambitions of SMEs in their local area. 

Further reading

Solent Business & Skills Solutions

Supporting the wider community at Liquid Friday