Yorkshire Building Society has today (Friday 5 February) announced it is pledging £120,000 to help small employers in Bradford offer apprenticeship programmes over the next two years ahead of National Apprenticeships Week (8-14 February).

The Bradford-based Society is working in partnership with Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP), and will transfer the money from its Apprenticeship Levy Fund to small and medium sized businesses (SME) in Bradford so they can benefit from the levy and provide apprenticeships.

The money will be used over two years and with the support of the LEP will fund between five and 24 apprenticeships, dependent on which apprenticeships businesses are seeking support with.

The LEP will act as a matching service between the Society and Bradford SMEs with the focus being on apprenticeships in digital, professional services and STEM (science, engineering, technology and maths) careers.

The Society is also launching several new digital and IT apprenticeships during National Apprenticeships Week that will be primarily based at its Bradford and Leeds offices and plans to recruit across more career areas later in the year.

The apprenticeship funding forms part of a wider commitment to invest an additional £240,000 in Bradford to provide employability and digital skills training to at least 2,000 people by the end of 2022 in support of the city’s post-Covid recovery.

Orlagh Hunt, Chief People Officer at Yorkshire Building Society, said:

This announcement is all about supporting, identifying and growing talent in Bradford that may otherwise not be given such an opportunity, as well as helping businesses and organisations in Bradford to develop and expand.

We know the coronavirus pandemic has had huge impacts on the jobs market and especially for young people in particular. The apprenticeship programme with the LEP forms a major part of our recently announced extra investment into Bradford of nearly a quarter of a million pounds in 2021 to help the city rebuild from the pandemic.

Finally, our newly launched apprenticeship roles in IT and Digital careers within the Society will support successful applicants develop careers that will be ever more important in an increasingly digital world.

Roger Marsh, OBE DL, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and the NP11, said:

It is fantastic to see Yorkshire Building Society, a major high street financial services provider that is headquartered in our region, committing to transferring their unused apprenticeship levy funding to help apprentices within the Leeds City Region. 

Levy-paying businesses play a key role in supporting apprenticeships across the region and help to give people the opportunity to gain valuable skills and training. Using unspent levy funds to cover 100% of training costs for local businesses will increase skills across sectors and support our future workforce while providing long-term benefits for multiple industries. This will be important to our region’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring our economy works for everyone.

Since launching its apprenticeship programme in 2016, Yorkshire Building Society has taken on 118 apprentices in numerous roles covering IT, marketing, risk, customer service, HR and finance.

All apprentices at Yorkshire Building Society are paid above the Living Wage and are recruited on a permanent contract, which entitles them to all of the same benefits as a non-apprentice.

For more information on Yorkshire Building Society apprenticeships please visit www.ybscareers.co.uk.

If you are a Bradford based business interested in the apprenticeship funding please visit www.the-lep.com/business-support/skills-and-training/apprenticeship-levy-support or email age@the-lep.com 

All information correct at time of publication.