COMPANIES in Wirral are being urged to utilise an under spend of the Apprenticeship Levy funding.

The advice is made by Wirral Chamber of commerce in a scheme launched in partnership with Wirral Metropolitan College and apprentice training provider Progress to Excellence in a new scheme.

April 6 will mark the two-year anniversary since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy.

It will also mark the start of the Government's 'claw back' of unspent money from 2017.

Wirral will be the first borough nationally to highlight how larger companies can support the growth of smaller companies in the local area.

The initiative aims to raise levy payers awareness of alternative ways that they can potentially choose to spend their unused levy funds.

Wirral Chamber of Commerce, Progress to Excellence and Wirral Met College (pictured l/r Damian Burdin Progress to Excellence, Patsy Crocker Wirral Chamber and Phil Jones Wirral Met College) are highlighting that businesses can ‘gift’ up to 10% of their total levy value to support other Wirral organisations in training through apprenticeships.

They may choose to work with a charity of their choice, a smaller business in their supply chain or any other Wirral employer that could benefit from a training and development re-investment through an apprenticeship.

Levy payers will be able to decide, as individuals, where they can ‘gift’ their under spent levy funds, charities as an example, as non-levy payers, could benefit by receiving funding from a larger Wirral based business to help support a wide range of apprenticeship training, such as leadership and management, business administration and ICT.

Patsy Crocker, from Wirral Chamber of Commerce, said: "We want to ensure our business community can take advantage of this initiative to support their aspirations for growth through accelerated leadership and management skills to generate expansion."

Damian Burdin, CEO at Progress to Excellence Ltd, added: "Now is the time for levy paying employers to act, if not they will lose funds as the Government will take them back.

"I am calling on all levy payers in the region, who do not currently use their levy pot, to do so now."

Sue Higginson, principal of Wirral Metropolitan College, said: "Apprenticeship reforms allow larger companies that pay an apprentice levy to support smaller organisations through transfer of a percentage of unspent levy.

"We can support companies who wish to do this so that they can help smaller organisations benefit through the growth and development of local skills for local people."

For details, contact Patsy Crocker at