Knowsley Business Benefits from Apprenticeship Levy Funds as part of The Shakespeare North Playhouse Contract.
The Shakespeare North Playhouse, a hugely anticipated development in Prescot, is already having an impact on local business in Knowsley as the result of a social impact initiative by main developers Kier Group. Huyton based Fieldway Group Ltd is one of the first contractors to be successful in securing a contract with Kier to supply the temporary electrics on site.
As part of the Shakespeare North Playhouse proposal, Kier made commitments to the local authority to provide social and inclusive value with a big emphasis on supporting the local pound. Kier then included social impact elements in their invitation to tender and it was in this area that Fieldway stood out from the rest. All Fieldway staff are local residents, and over the last ten years the company has recruited 36% of its staff via the Knowsley Apprentice Programme. They currently employ 7 apprentices, one of which will be assigned to The Shakespeare North Playhouse. Fieldway have been the beneficiaries of this commitment.
Fieldway, through a conversation with Sysco Business Skills Academy, a leading North West training provider based in Liverpool, and Kier, identified a gap in the middle management of the company. As a result of this conversation, Kier offered to support Fieldway through an Apprenticeship Levy transfer to provide training for 2 staff to undertake Sysco Management Apprenticeships which link to the Institute of Leadership and Management.
Fieldway Managing Director Tony Carden highlighted how this wouldn’t have been possible without this support, saying “Identifying managers is important but SMEs don’t always have the funds to support them and that’s where the levy transfer comes in. We look at our staff development from the point of view of getting our new staff qualified in their specialist areas so they can work on site. What Kier and Sysco have done is enable us to take our training opportunities to the next level and we now have clear progression routes to management for established staff in our organisation.”
Neil Carson, Supply Chain Manager for Kier, said “We have a longstanding relationship with Fieldway. When you analyse their business in terms of their approach to social value, the people they employ locally and how they support local SMEs in their own supply chain, they were stand out candidates to receive this levy funding transfer from Kier. By using the transfer of the apprentice levy, it’s a way to support and thank our Supply Chain partners for their ongoing commitment to delivering positive social value outcomes across the projects and communities that we operate.”
Becky Dutton, Business Development Manager from Sysco worked closely with Kier to facilitate the transfer of levy funds to Fieldway as this was the first time that Kier had transferred funds.
Becky said “for Liverpool City Region to deliver it’s aspiration of 20,000 apprenticeships each year by 2020 more levy paying employers need to consider transferring levy funds to ensure individuals have the right skills for the modern workplace and to help local business prosper.
Apprenticeships have a long history of developing skills and knowledge across industries now designed and funded by employer’s without limits on age or prior qualifications new apprenticeship standards are a way for employers of all sizes to improve staff at every levels may that be new and aspiring talent or your top tier of experienced managers.
Sysco have been working with Tony for several years now and he is committed to supporting staff development. Kier have given Tony the opportunity to develop future leaders within his business to ensure they have the leadership skills and knowledge to feel more confident making important decisions and to be effective in their new roles.”