B&Q’s £100,000 does it for local apprentices

B&Q has pledged to transfer £100,000 of expiring levy funds to a scheme helping SMEs in the Solent area to train new apprentices and upskill workers.

Transfer to Transform provides the chance for Solent businesses to support each other. The campaign does not ask for cash, only that businesses pledge some of their unspent apprenticeship levy funding to support local companies.

Those that do pledge can take an active involvement in selecting those that receive the funding. The B&Q cash is paying for training for tradespeople roles.

It has already seen apprenticeships agreed for four small businesses to train a gas engineer, a plumber and two installation maintenance electricians.  The funds will be further distributed, possibly for more apprentices.

B&Q also runs an extensive apprenticeship programme for its colleagues, with 123 graduating from its retail team leader level three apprenticeship scheme in January (pictured).

It has recently expanded the range of apprenticeship schemes it offers to its colleagues to 28, with ambitions to have over 850 B&Q colleagues taking part in apprenticeships by the end of the year.

Andy Moat, People Director, said “To be able to share our levy fund with SMEs and to help them rebuild through skills and the creation of new opportunities in the area is vital now, more than ever.

“I’d encourage any large business with unspent levy funds to seriously consider how they could use those funds to support SMEs in their local communities.”