Just weeks after announcing a new grant scheme supporting the county’s visitor economy, OxLEP are set to reveal its latest grant programme which will support businesses to harness apprenticeship opportunities.
The OxLEP Business and OxLEP Skills teams have joined forces and next Wednesday (10 August), they will announce the 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 new scheme, which will see grants from £1,000 to £1,500 made available to eligible Oxfordshire-based businesses, is being launched to help remove potential barriers experienced by apprentices.
It will be formally-announced on 10 August via an online webinar, starting at 12noon, hosted by OxLEP Business and OxLEP Skills.
Grants are set to be awarded to companies on a first-come, first-served basis with some grants – up to £3,000 – also available to organisations under certain circumstances.
Oxfordshire businesses from all sectors are being encouraged to find out more about the support.
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.
Social Contract activity includes OxLEP Skills working with eligible companies to unlock their respective Apprenticeship Levy and providing access to the programme’s apprenticeship advisors who can offer free support and guidance.
Ahead of the grant scheme launch, OxLEP are encouraging organisations in Oxfordshire with a desire to create or fill apprenticeship opportunities to join the virtual event.
Nigel Tipple – Chief Executive of OxLEP – said: “Following-on from our announcement earlier this summer regarding our Visitor Economy Grant Scheme, we are delighted to bring a further funding opportunity to our business community via the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Grant Scheme.
“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.
“We are therefore delighted to bring this new grant scheme to market supporting those organisations with apprenticeship ambitions.
“If you are an Oxfordshire-based business with a desire to deliver apprenticeship openings, we would encourage you to find out more about our new scheme.”
Applications to the grant scheme will open to eligible businesses immediately following its launch on 10 August, with an application deadline set for 30 September.
Away from the new apprenticeship scheme, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, OxLEP has introduced a number of effective programmes and funds, created to provide much-needed support and financial backing to the Oxfordshire business community. This includes the previously-mentioned Visitor Economy Grant Scheme, as well as the £2.1million Business Investment Fund and the Cherwell Business Adaptation Fund.