As part of our activities for Apprenticeship Week 2020, we held an event for 30 local businesses to let them know what they’re missing out on by not signing up to the Levy Matchmaking Service.

So, what is the Levy Matchmaking Service?

Only available to businesses in Greater Manchester and the surrounding areas, the Levy Matchmaking service was put in place to provide a funding transfer to support SMEs with creating more apprenticeship opportunities, helping businesses fill their software developer vacancies.

Before the Levy Matchmaking service was put in place, SMEs needed to contribute 5% to the training costs of an apprentice – a large amount for small or start-up companies. However, through the Levy Matchmaking Service, they now don’t need to pay a penny!

How you ask? The Levy Matchmaking Service allows larger companies to either use or transfer 25% of their training fund to Manchester based SMEs in order to cover their training costs for a specified Apprentice.

In Code Nation’s case, this service allows us to continue to commit our time to create employable talent whilst contributing to narrowing the tech skills gap in the North West.

Since the service was introduced in August last year, there has been more than £750k in total of matched donations. This amount has meant that 50 more employees are in training with businesses who previously wouldn’t have been able to access Apprenticeship funding – which may explain why we’ve had to move to a larger campus and our classrooms are full.

The event

30 local businesses were in attendance, with the main aim of understanding more about the complex world of apprenticeships and their funding, whilst also becoming aware of the availability of a free approach to training new talent.

To further inform our attendees we had three guest speakers, including Andy Lord, our very own CEO, Adrian Healey of The Manufacturing Institute (who administers the Levy Matchmaking service) and Susana Lawson, co-founder and CEO of One File.

Andy commented: “Here at Code Nation, we spend a lot of time sharing our knowledge of the Apprenticeship Levy to local businesses, whilst demonstrating the ways they can use it alongside our offering. We want to help our local city, and its surrounding areas, to fill the Software Developer skills gap by helping to create opportunity and giving back to the Greater Manchester economy. That’s why we run these events.”

Following on from that, Adrian Healey commented: “Manchester is the perfect city for the Levy Matchmaking service and this is the only digital service like this in the UK. Manchester is ahead of the game but businesses in the region not signed up will be missing out. Businesses outside of Greater Manchester will also be missing out on this fantastic opportunity for as long as other combined authorities aren’t rolling it out nationally.

With the talks informing businesses on the Levy, the reaction from the event was more than we’d imagined. Potential clients are now on board with the Levy Matchmaking Service which allows them to fill their Software Development vacancies through the work-ready talent Code Nation creates.

Reimagining Apprenticeships and being the answer to the skills gap is what Code Nation is all about. Over the past two years, we have seen our Manchester campus more than double in size and we’d like to continue that growth – being the main providers of skilled Apprentices for Manchester’s businesses alongside the Levy Matchmaking Service.

If you’re interested in filling your Software Developer vacancies with only the best talent or finding out about the Levy Matchmaking service – why not get in contact with us today?

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