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Unlocking the potential of apprenticeships

Published on 10 February 2023

National Apprenticeship Week is an opportunity for companies to come together to recognise the achievements and contributions of apprentices across the country.

This year’s theme – ‘Skills for Life’ – reflects on how apprenticeship opportunities equip individuals with the skills and knowledge for life-long rewarding careers. Milton Park is helping to highlight apprenticeship support, which is available to companies on the Park.

Accessing the Apprenticeship Levy

The Apprenticeship Levy is a 0.5% tax paid by companies which have an annual pay bill of more than £3m or are connected to any companies or charities for Employment Allowance purposes and have a combined annual pay bill of more than £3m.

Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s (OxLEP) Social Contract programme offers free, expert, impartial advice for companies of all sizes looking to employ their first apprentice, develop an existing apprenticeship scheme or upskill employees. Additionally, companies can help make best use of their Apprenticeship Levy funds by pledging unused Levy to local smaller companies of their choice from across Oxfordshire.

The OxLEP team works alongside a range of SMEs, social enterprises and charities across the region who are looking for contributions to support their apprentices. Previous pledges across the region have been put towards GP surgeries and primary schools.

Take advantage of the Apprenticeship Grant Scheme

OxLEP’s Apprenticeship Grant Scheme helps to remove barriers for those looking to start or complete an apprenticeship. Employers apply for grants on behalf of apprentices – normally up to £1,500 - which can be used to subsidise travel, laptops, professional tools, driving licenses or counselling.

Enter the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards 2023

If your organisation already employs apprentices, the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards is a great way to showcase your organisation and celebrate the achievements of your apprentices. There are categories for employers and current and former apprentices. Entries close at midnight on Friday 17 February.

Become an Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Ambassador

Apprenticeship employers can help raise their profile with the next generation and give their apprentices the opportunity to develop their presentation skills by giving their time to be an Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Ambassador, spreading awareness of apprenticeships as a career pathway to young people.

Find out more