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Apprenticeships Norfolk hits £1m milestone in levy transfer scheme success

Norfolk County Council, 5 March 2024 10:14
Photograph of Sean Flynn and Harvey Boyer in Hethersett Butchers

An apprentice butcher has told of how his life has been changed by an innovative levy transfer scheme in Norfolk - which has now achieved £1m of levy transfers. 

Harvey Boyer was unemployed and struggling with his mental health until the Apprenticeships Norfolk scheme supported him to receive the training to work at Hethersett Butchers near Norwich.  

Thanks to the initiative, 90 businesses in the county have started 180 apprenticeships, from Level 2 through to Level 7, using unspent funds that would otherwise been returned to HM Treasury.  

Without levy transfers from organisations with strong ties to the county, including a new additional £100,000 commitment from Aviva, many smaller businesses would have been unable to create new apprenticeship opportunities.  

The scheme has now hit the £1m milestone a year ahead of schedule. Harvey's apprenticeship, which began in August 2023, was made possible after Alan Boswell Group transferred its levy. 

"This has given me the key to get started with my life," says Harvey, 25. "I had been between jobs and finished education when I was 18, so I wasn't doing anything. This opportunity changed my life."    

His boss and friend Sean Flynn, 28, started as an apprentice in 2013 with Poultec, the same local company training Harvey, and took over the longstanding butchers' shop in Hethersett in April 2023. "It has helped me build the shop because it gives me the time to run the business," he says. 

Hethersett Butchers was recognised for its support of Harvey last month at the Apprenticeships Norfolk Awards where it was named Micro and Small-Sized Apprenticeships Employer of the Year.  

Cllr Fabian Eagle, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, said: "Levy transfers between businesses encourages important circular economic benefits and also introduces much larger organisations to local SMEs, including businesses who may support their supply chain. Donating levy funding encourages corporate social responsibility and reduces wastage of unspent apprenticeship levy, keeping funding in Norfolk." 

Danny Harmer, Aviva's Chief People Officer, said: "Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for people to develop their existing career or try something new, regardless of age or experience. We are delighted to be able to support businesses across Norfolk, their employees and the local community by donating some of our Apprenticeship Levy." 

Gillian Anderson Brown, HR Director at Alan Boswell Group said: "We are delighted to be able to transfer our apprenticeship levy to enable small businesses who don't have access to the funds themselves, like The Hethersett Butchers, the opportunity to train through apprenticeship pathways. We're passionate about training young people across Norfolk's workforce and have a number of apprentices working in the Group." 

The apprenticeship levy is payable by organisations whose annual wage bill is more than £3m and equates to 0.5% of the bill. But if the business has undertaken all the apprenticeships that it has capacity to deliver, it can donate up to 25% of its annual apprenticeship levy to another organisation. Levy transfers are used for new apprentice starts, new recruits and existing employees. 

Any businesses wanting to find out more about can view details about the scheme on the Apprenticeships Norfolk website. Businesses can enquire about receiving a levy transfer, or donating their unspent levy, by completing an expression of interest form or calling 0344 800 8024. 

Last modified: 14 May 2024 13:21

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