Lloyds gets behind UK apprenticeships

Posted on 10 Dec 2019 and read 590 times
Lloyds gets behind UK apprenticeships Made in the Midlands patron Lloyds Banking Group has pledged £9 million to UK SMEs to support the uptake of apprenticeships, as part of its Helping Britain Prosper commitments.

SMEs in the West Midlands will be able to access funds to support apprentices in a number of skill sectors — including technology, digital and manufacturing — as part of a three-year commitment in conjunction with the West Midlands Combined Authority and the Advanced Manufacturing and Training Centre in Coventry.

The funding will support apprenticeship programmes from Level 3 to Level 7 in STEM and digital subjects; it can be used for new hires as well as for up-skilling existing staff.

Ian Browne from Lloyds Banking Group is responsible for the Helping Britain Prosper scheme (www.lloydsbank.madeinthemidlands.com). Since it was launched in April 2019, Lloyds has already supported over 70 apprentices (employed by 45 companies).

Around 50% of them are developing digital skills, in recognition of the productivity benefits that these skills can bring to businesses. Around 30% of the demand so far relates to skills in engineering and construction.

Mr Browne said: “Fewer than 49% of SMEs in the West Midlands have all five of the basic digital skills — the lowest percentage of any region in the UK.

“Increasing these skills offers a UK productivity dividend of £85 billion through efficiency gains, optimised trading and access to new markets.

"Apprenticeships provide a great way for an SME to invest in those critical skills, through ‘earning while learning’.

"With apprenticeships costing upwards of £10,000, the additional financial support is designed to help make them more accessible to smaller businesses.”

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