Bupa UK is proud to be a partner of a new apprenticeship fund launched to unlock new talent and close the skills gap in Salford.
The Salford Skills and Apprenticeship Fund, which is the first public/private/third sector partnership of its kind, was launched at Bupa UK’s office, Bupa Place, in Salford Quays, Manchester, last week.
As a partner, Bupa UK has donated £25,000 to the new fund, which has been launched to help small to medium sized organisations meet the cost of apprenticeship training. Other partners include Salford City Council, Apprenticeships at Salford City College, University of Salford, Salix Homes and Seddon.
The fund aims to attract, develop and retain talent in the city by creating opportunities for people, of all ages, to undertake relevant qualifications, helping to build skills, capabilities and aspirations. It is also hoped it will help existing employers close skills gaps in key sectors such as health and social care, digital, manufacturing and construction, hospitality, business and professional services.
David Hynam, CEO of Bupa UK, said: “We’re proud to support the Salford Skills for Business Apprenticeship Fund. As an organisation with a significant presence in Greater Manchester, we’re committed to providing high quality training opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds in the local community. More than 5% of our UK workforce are in roles where they earn salaries while undertaking on-the-job training and we hope this fund will help other businesses to follow our lead.”
The launch event at Bupa Place included inspirational stories from Salford apprentices who shared how apprenticeships have had a positive impact on their careers and lives.
Wayne Close, Managing Director, Bupa UK Health Services, said: “It is great to be a leading provider of apprenticeships in our business and through our site in Salford. This initiative is the first of its type in the country. Our donation demonstrates the close working relationship we have developed with the Salford City Council. We see the opportunity to develop local Salford businesses and residents as another step in our aim to 'build talent in our local community'.”
It is thanks to the apprenticeship levy and associated reforms that organisations can now gift 25% of their training levy to an unlimited number of employers. Salford City Council and its partners will be gifting up to £250,000 of apprenticeship training funding to small and medium sized organisations. The partnership has also secured a further £114,000 Greater Manchester Combined Authority funding to support a proportion of apprentices’ salary costs. The fund is expected to grow as more organisations confirm funding.
Councillor John Ferguson, Lead Member for Workforce and Industrial Relations at Salford City Council, said: “The approval of the Apprenticeship Strategy and launch of the fund demonstrates our commitment to apprenticeships. Working in partnership with a number of Salford organisations we’re investing in apprenticeship training to create more quality and sustainable apprenticeship opportunities across the City. This is something we are passionate about, providing opportunities for people of all ages to learn, unlock their true potential and use their skills to benefit the people of Salford.”