Council to fund new apprenticeships at local businesses with new scheme

31 January 2023

This National Apprenticeship Week (6 – 12 February), Southwark Council is excited to launch a funding scheme to help local employers hire more apprentices and train their staff.

Research shows entry-level apprenticeships starts have plummeted by 72% since 2015.

Southwark Council has created over 2,000 apprenticeships, which they will double by 2026. Now the council is helping fund smaller businesses to increase apprenticeship opportunities.

The council can transfer up to 25% of their apprenticeship levy funds to employers in Southwark to help create new apprenticeship opportunities. This can include hiring new apprentices or supporting existing employees to undertake an apprentice-training course.

The apprenticeship levy is a form of tax paid by large employers. It is designed to help companies to invest in high-quality training and get the skilled workforce they need to thrive and succeed.

The council is working with the London Progression Collaboration on the Southwark Levy Transfer scheme which is open to small and medium sized employers. The many benefits of apprenticeships for employers include:

  • 86% of employers have said that apprenticeships helped them develop skills relevant to their organisation
  • 78% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve productivity
  • 74% said they helped improve the quality of their product or service
  • Successful apprentices often become loyal employees as 90% often stay on after their qualification has finished

Join an information session for businesses on Monday 6 February from 10am-11am that explains the levy transfer, and how to access funds to upskill staff or hire a new apprentice.

Cllr Martin Seaton, cabinet member for jobs, business and town centres, said: “Research clearly shows that apprenticeships mean a massive boost for business: from retaining a talented workforce equipped with future-ready skills to improving overall productivity and quality of output. Our new levy transfer scheme now makes it a total no-brainer for businesses to hire more apprentices and train their staff using money from the council.”

Ope Aromona is a Project Management Apprentice at Southwark Council. He says: “I chose to start an apprenticeship because I saw it as an opportunity to get direct training which I could apply to my role straight away. I really liked the fact I could gain a qualification while earning a living. It means I don’t have to think about financial pressures and can concentrate solely on my professional development.

“I believe businesses should take on apprentices as it is a chance to train and develop individuals for the specific demands of your workforce. I’ve seen first-hand how this improves productivity and saves money on costly recruitment.”

The council and their partners are running events throughout the rest of National Apprenticeship Week; from virtual career fairs, myth-busting talks, through to open days with employers. If you are looking to kick-start your career or take the next step up the ladder, check out the full programme of events.

Apprentices can be new or current employees aged 16 or over. Apprenticeships are jobs that combine working and earning with studying to gain skills and knowledge in a specific job. They can take between one and five years to complete, depending on the level, and there are over 600 different apprenticeship courses you can select. 

Apprenticeship training ranges from GCSE to Masters level, costing anywhere from £1,500 to £27,000. A variety of learning options are also available including online, classroom-based and one-to-one tuition.

To find out more about the support Southwark Council offers to help you take on an apprentice or upskill your workforce, visit

Page last updated: 31 January 2023

Privacy settings