Published date 5 February 2024

National Apprenticeship Week – Mayor boost: £100k (more) pledged for apprenticeships, Dan Norris announces

Dan and a B&Q apprentice

Close to £4 million has now been pledged to help people across the West of England region develop new skills through apprenticeships, Mayor Dan Norris has announced (today Monday 5 February) at the start of National Apprenticeship Week.

Insurance giant Aviva has joined the growing list of big regional and national employers who have pledged to invest in apprentices by joining the “Share to Support” scheme run by the West of England Mayoral Combined Authority, and Western Training Provider Network.

The scheme sees apprentice-levy paying employers passing on their unused levy funds so that more apprenticeships can be created by small employers.

Aviva has pledged £100,000 to Share to Support which has already funded over 300 apprenticeships for local residents – with more now on the way.

Mayor Dan Norris is urging other big regional firms to sign up to Share to Support. He said: “Thank you to Aviva for signing up to the West of England Share to Support scheme. This means even more cash raised for apprenticeship training in the West stays in the West.

“I am proud of Share to Support. The millions we’ve already raised is being put to excellent use here, helping equip local people right across our region with the skills they need.

“But I want us to go further. That’s why I am encouraging more West of England firms to sign up - and help us train up even more locals and share opportunities for everyone.”

Aviva, who have strong links with the West of England region with a large base in Stoke Gifford, are the latest big employer to commit apprenticeship funds to Share to Support. They join the likes of Airbus, GKN, Southern Co-op, and others, supporting smaller firms take on apprentices in the West.

Danny Harmer, Aviva’s Chief People Officer, said: "Apprenticeships create fantastic opportunities for people to develop and evolve their careers, regardless of age or experience. 

"So we are gifting some of our Apprenticeship Levy to businesses across the West of England to help their employees develop the skills they need now and to get ready for the future."

Alex Richards, Managing Director at Western Training Provider Network, said: "Every pledge makes a difference to our smaller businesses and our residents, and this pledge will go a long way towards improving career and life opportunities for apprentices.

“We can’t thank Aviva enough. Pledged funds like this change lives for the better. We have met with apprentices of all ages that these funds support and have heard firsthand the stories of personal growth and development, literally life changing for some.”

National Apprenticeship Week 2024 is the 17th annual celebration of apprenticeships. It takes place from today (5 February) to Sunday (11 February).

The Share to Support Apprenticeship Levy Share Scheme forms part of Mayoral Priority Skills Fund. This project is part funded by UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

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