The University of Oxford Apprenticeships Team have recently started to support small local businesses and charities by transferring unused Apprenticeship levy funds that can be used on Apprenticeship training. This will provide huge opportunities for SMEs who do not have the necessary funds, by enabling them to recruit and train new employees or upskill existing members of their team. It is a fantastic way in which the University can support the local community and so far the Apprenticeships team has committed to transfer over £500,000 of unused levy.
We've recently partnered with Oxfordshire Mind, who were initially looking to recruit over 30 apprentice Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners to TalkingSpace Plus, Oxfordshire’s NHS talking therapy service run in partnership by Oxfordshire Mind, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and Principal Medical Ltd (PWPs; see more information on this Apprenticeship further down). These are the first Apprenticeships of their kind in the UK and we're so pleased to be able to contribute towards the training of additional therapists to reach more of Oxfordshire's residents and students.
It is particularly important for us to focus on supporting charities like Oxfordshire Mind in the current climate as they continue to provide mental health advice and care, alongside the NHS, during these difficult times.
We asked Oxfordshire Mind to comment on how this transfer would support their business needs:
Oxfordshire Mind is very grateful to the University of Oxford for their support to the new apprenticeship scheme at TalkingSpace Plus. Through their support we have been able to employ 33 new members of staff as apprentice Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners in TalkingSpace Plus. Once fully trained these new workers will help thousands of Oxfordshire residents to gain access to clinically proven therapy to treat anxiety and depression. This would not have been possible without this support from the University.
TalkingSpace Plus (TSP) is provided in partnership by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Oxfordshire Mind, and Principal Medical Limited. The NHS service provides a personalised, flexible, responsive, stepped care model to support wellbeing for people experiencing depression and/or anxiety disorders. TSP is also currently working in collaboration with Oxford University’s Welfare and Wellbeing Services, including the Counselling Service, to improve the mental wellbeing offer for students.
Oxfordshire Mind employs Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners at TalkingSpace Plus.
The Apprenticeship levy can only be used to pay for the training of staff with an approved training provider. Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner training at TalkingSpace Plus is provided by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.
Click here to see more information on the Apprenticeship standard.
What is the Apprenticeships Levy?
The UK Government introduced the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017. The Levy requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill over £3 million each year, to invest in Apprenticeships. Employers in England who pay the Levy, which include the University, are able to access funding through a digital Apprenticeship service account which enables them to select and pay Government-approved training providers for Apprenticeship training. The levy is charged at a rate of 0.5% of an employer's pay bill.
Please note: the Apprenticeship levy can only be used to pay for the training of staff with an approved training provider.
How do transfers work?
Employers who pay the levy and have unused funds are able to support other employers who are looking to receive a transfer. From April 2019, these employers are able to transfer up to 25% of their annual funds. These funds can only be used to pay for training by a Government approved training provider.