Following its initial launch this August, the Local Enterprise Partnership for Oxfordshire are reminding businesses across the county to make use of a grant scheme enabling apprentices and helping to remove possible barriers hindering the completion of the workplace qualification.
As we enter the closing weeks of 2022, OxLEP Business and OxLEP Skills hope to reach and support even more companies through its Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Grant Scheme, a product of OxLEP Skills’ Social Contract programme – itself a £1.7million project supported through funding secured by OxLEP via the government’s Contain Outbreak Management Fund.
The scheme – which sees grants from £1,000 to £1,500 made available to eligible businesses – was created to remove potential barriers experienced by apprentices to either start or complete their respective qualifications.
Businesses looking to access the scheme can apply on behalf of their Oxfordshire-based apprentice with grants being awarded to companies on a first-come, first-served basis. Some further grants – of up to £3,000 – are also available to organisations under certain circumstances.
More businesses are now being encouraged to make the most of the funding and OxLEP hopes to reach businesses from all sectors within Oxfordshire – and those who employ apprentices who are residents in the county too – to find out more about the scheme.
Nigel Tipple – Chief Executive of OxLEP – said: “Over many years, through initiatives like the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards, we have championed the value and impact of apprenticeship schemes, highlighting how important they are to businesses in the county, Oxfordshire’s labour market, plus what it leads to in creating fantastic career opportunities.
“If you are an Oxfordshire-based business with a desire to deliver apprenticeship openings – or support an Oxfordshire-based apprentice – we would encourage you to find out more about our scheme.
“Given the current economic difficulties, we recognise that some apprentices will be experiencing difficulties around starting or completing their qualification. The Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Grant Scheme is a great way to alleviate these concerns, removing potential pressures and worries around a situation, as well as ultimately benefiting companies too.”
WATCH AGAIN: Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Grant Scheme launch webinar (August 2022)
OxLEP says that grants can be used to remove a number of different barriers which an apprentice maybe experiencing, such as travel and childcare costs.
Away from the grant scheme, the Social Contract programme is set to have a significant effect on Oxfordshire’s skills landscape and follows in the footsteps of OxLEP Skills’ historic commitment to supporting the county’s businesses to develop their own talent pipeline.
The Social Contract activity includes OxLEP Skills working with eligible companies to unlock their respective Apprenticeship Levy, helping to retain levy spend within Oxfordshire and providing access to the programme’s apprenticeship advisors who can offer free support and guidance.