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Transfer to Transform Impact Report

It’s always great when something really positive pops into your inbox, especially in the run-up to Christmas. This week we received an update and impact report on the Transfer to Transform initiative, and it made for fantastic reading. 

Supporting local SMEs and individuals

Transfer to Transform allows employers to support each other by utilising unspent Apprenticeship Levy funding that would otherwise be diverted back to central government. Larger businesses can pledge unused levy funds which are then used to support SMEs across the Solent, North Hampshire and Surrey region with the costs of apprenticeship training.

Transfer to Transform – from small beginnings

Transfer to Transform was launched in July 2020 during the first lockdown of the pandemic. At that time, the business climate was bleak for SMEs in the majority of industries, with huge numbers of people on furlough and trade grinding to a virtual halt. 

This initiative aimed to reinvigorate the apprenticeship market, by funding the costs of apprenticeships for small employers. It all started with transfer pledges from just 3 employers and a pledge target of £1 million. 

At Liquid Friday, we first got involved with the Transfer to Transform initiative around this time last year. Since then we have pledged over £73,000 in unspent Apprenticeship Levy funds.

As a large employer in the South, we loved the idea of being able to redistribute our unspent Apprenticeship Levy funds to support growing businesses and the economy in our region. Instead of being re-routed back to the treasury, this money has funded apprenticeships across our region, enabling a diverse range of small businesses to upskill and grow their teams. 

The wider impact of Transfer to Transform is pretty inspiring too. Since its inception, the scheme has secured over £6.5 million in pledges for levy transfer from employers, garnering government support in the process. In total it has supported over 540 new apprenticeships across 343 SMEs. 

Impact on Apprentices

The impact on individuals cannot be underestimated. Apprenticeships started through Transfer to Transform have started careers, expedited promotions and provided numerous career progression opportunities. It has also generated new skills where there are talent deficits and skills shortages. 

To date, the initiative has been able to support 549 individuals in starting their Apprenticeship in standards such as Level 7 Gaming Programmer, Adult Care Leader Level 5, Early Years Educator Level 3, Assistant Accountant Level 3 and Warehouse Operative Level 2, and many more.

Impact on SMEs

Over 90% of businesses in the South are SMEs. After a turbulent couple of years they are at the heart of growth and recovery of our regional economy. Transfer to Transform has supported and  enabled these resilient businesses to grow in some of the following ways:

  • Support with navigating the skills system
  • Impartial advice and guidance around apprenticeships
  • Levy Transfer
  • Workforce/Career ladder planning and support.

Looking to the future…

Continuing with the work already happening with Skills, Apprenticeships and Levy Transfer, the fantastic team behind Transfer to Transform will be broadening their offer to SMEs, to include more general business support and specific support with their journey to Net Zero.

Commenting on its success to date, Jodi Fair, Programme Manager at the Solent Apprenticeship & Skills Hub said:

“Transfer to Transform has made Apprenticeship training much more accessible for smaller employers, enabling them to take advantage of the over 700 different standards Apprenticeships can provide, including professional qualifications such as AAT and CIPD.  We are so grateful for our Levy Pledgers such as Liquid Friday as without them we would not be able to provide this essential service and hundreds of Apprenticeships would have never been started”.

Demand for levy transfer pledges continues to rise and Transfer to Transform are actively seeking new Levy Pledgers for 2024/25. If you are reading this as an employer in the South with a surfeit of Apprenticeship Levy funds, and this aligns with your company values, let us know and we will put you in touch directly.