Four million pounds has now been pledged to help people across the West of England develop new skills through apprenticeships.

Following Mayor Dan Norris’s call for more large firms to sign up to the region’s ‘Share to Support’ scheme last week, Nuffield Health has responded in style by pledging £100,000 to support smaller firms with their ambitions to become apprentice employers.

Dan Norris said: 

“It’s fantastic over £4m has been raised through Share to Support for apprenticeship training in the West.

“This will help ensure more locals get the skills they need. It’s great we’ve been able to achieve this important milestone in National Apprenticeships Week!

"Thank you to Nuffield Health for such a generous pledge to the West of England Share to Support scheme run by my Mayoral Combined Authority.”

Alison Day, Nuffield Health’s Learning and Employability Partner said:

“Nuffield Health is delighted to be working with WTPN to help support small and medium-sized social-enterprise organisations with their aspirations to support their employees’ careers through qualifications, on-the-job experience and employment opportunities.  

“Strategic, values-based partnerships like these are important in helping to deliver our purpose of building a healthier nation by creating opportunities in the community for all."

The Share to Support Apprenticeship Levy Share Scheme is managed by the Western Training Provider Network (WTPN).

Alex Richards, Managing Director of the WTPN, added:

“I am absolutely delighted that the Mayor’s call to action resulted in more funds to the scheme and that we have crossed the £4m mark, and thrilled that Nuffield Health has joined other large businesses in making a difference. This is the second pledge in just a week; Aviva, who have a local base and workforce, gifted £100,000 on Monday.

"This gift will enable further businesses and residents to prosper through the development of skills and access to apprenticeships. Put together, our impartial small business apprenticeship information and guidance service and the ‘share to support’ scheme have now supported and funded over 400 apprenticeships to date.

“We get regular requests for levy share funds from hard pressed, smaller businesses keen to utilise apprenticeships to power their workforce - it’s crucial that we can support them." The project forms part of Mayoral Priority Skills Fund part funded by UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.