Apprenticeships: Supporting Small Business Growth

Apprenticeships: Supporting Small Business Growth

The pandemic has hit London businesses – and Londoners – the hardest. The impact has been more keenly felt by small and medium businesses, many of whom made full use of the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The pandemic has also changed how many businesses operate: accelerating pre-existing changes in consumer behaviour, exacerbating skills shortages, encouraging businesses to adopt new technologies and placing a greater emphasis on workforce retention and productivity.

At the London Progression Collaboration, our mission is to support people progress in work and tackle the skills shortages our capital faces. Small businesses know and understand these challenges all too well. Fortunately, apprenticeships funded through an Apprenticeship Levy Transfer can support small businesses grow and prosper. Making the most out of the apprenticeship levy means employers – small and large – can begin to meet growing demand for skilled labour, improve retention and productivity and enable employees to progress in work.

We know that many employers have considered an apprenticeship but have not taken that first step, which is why London Progression Collaboration support businesses at every step of their apprenticeship journey. We provide a free, impartial advice and end-to-end businesses support. Many of the small and medium businesses we’ve worked with have gone on to benefit from the Apprenticeship Levy Transfer and to date we’ve supported over 60 large employers to transfer £8.8 million, which has helped more than 650 employees progress into apprenticeships across 150 small businesses. We’re backed by the Greater London Assembly and JP Morgan Chase.

How can you benefit from an Apprenticeship Levy Transfer?

Employers with an annual wage bill of £3 million pay a 0.5% tax, known as an Apprenticeship Levy. This sits in a Digital Apprenticeship Service Account and employers have two years to spend it. Employers rarely spend their entire Levy and can transfer 25% of it to small and medium businesses such as your own.

That’s where London Progression Collaboration come in. We work with small and medium businesses to match you with large employers that have pledged to transfer their levy. Our team of dedicated account managers are in regular dialogue with large businesses across London and have the expertise to make the Apprenticeship Levy Transfer process seamless. Some of the names we’ve worked with include Amazon, BBC, BT, Linklaters and Thames Water.

Given London has far more levy-payers than elsewhere in the country and apprenticeship starts in London are comparatively low, the Apprenticeship Levy Transfer is an untapped resource available to small and medium businesses – hundreds of millions unspent in London each year could be used to help small and medium businesses get back on their feet and prosper as we come out of this pandemic.

What next?

To find out why you should get involved and what you and your employees can benefit from enrolling onto an apprenticeship, check out our website at or get in touch for an informal conversation at

Alternatively, why not hear first-hand from the small businesses that have benefitted:

Regardless of what stage you’re at on your apprenticeship journey – whether you’re unsure about the potential an apprenticeship can offer, or you’re seeking financial support to make it a reality – London Progression Collaboration can walk you through the process step-by-step.

Anna Ambrose, Direct of the London Progression Collaboration.

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