Utilita Energy Gives Solent Charities a £50K Boost, Through Transfer to Transform Scheme

 

Utilita - Energy High 5 Logo

Southampton-based Utilita, the UK’s leading smart prepay energy provider, has donated £50K of its
annual apprenticeship levy pot to help local charities, including mental health charity ‘Solent Mind
and the Southampton arm of The Prince’s Trust.

The pledged funds will be allocated to the charities via the Solent Apprenticeship Hub’s Transfer to
Transform scheme, which enables employers who have varying amounts of unutilised
apprenticeship levy funding to support local SMEs by transferring the money over, to avoid the funds
being reclaimed by the Government.

In its first weeks since the launch, the Solent Apprenticeship Hub’s newly launched Transfer to
Transform scheme received £500,000 worth of pledged apprenticeship funding that can be
distributed to SMEs in the Solent and used to train the regions’ workers. This applies to businesses
across all sectors and can be used for any different kind of apprenticeship standard, for example:
Accountancy, Digital Marketing, IT, Engineering, Trades, Hospitality etc.

Any other Solent-based businesses can apply to access entirely free funding for apprenticeship
training through the new Transfer to Transform scheme. The funding can be used to upskill either an
existing member of staff or a newly employed member of the workforce. Seizing the opportunity of
fully funded apprenticeship training could fill skills gaps in many businesses and give the local
economy and people a much-needed boost post-lockdown.

What is the apprenticeship levy?

All UK employers with an annual PAYE bill of more than £3 million must pay 0.5% of their total PAYE
bill into a levy pot, which must be used for apprenticeship training – for existing or new employees.
In addition to Utilita, other supporters of the Transfer to Transform include Portsmouth City Council,
Southampton City Council and CooperVision.

Utilita’s Director of Human Resources comments on the power of the
transfer to transform scheme:

“As a company with more than 1,400 employees, we have such broad spectrum of specialisms that
often require extensive and ongoing training programmes. From accounting and management to
engineering and customer services, many of our experts have benefitted from completing
apprenticeships.

“The most progressive companies approach apprenticeships as a chapter of a long-term career plan,
and that’s what we do here at Utilita – we upskill existing members of staff, and employ 18-24 year
olds on apprenticeship programmes, who go on to play important parts of our business. Today we
have 50 apprenticeships running, and we are pioneering a compliance apprenticeship in the South of
England.

“The Transfer to Transform scheme will be game-changing for smaller businesses who need to fill
skills gaps, but don’t have the funding for apprenticeship training. We hope our donation will support
local charities to upskill and train new employees that will go on to make a difference to people’s
lives in our local community.”

Utilita’s decision to support Solent Mind was influenced by the trail-blazing partnership with Solent
Mind and Manchester Mind, which delivered a mental health course across 23 one-hour sessions,
that more than 300 Utilita employees chose to attend. The sessions concentrated on staying happy
and healthy at work and how to deal with everyday stresses and strains.

Joanne Silsbury, Corporate Liaison Officer at Solent Mind comments on the important donation:
“We’re thrilled to receive these vital funds, which hold such a unique and exciting purpose. There’s
never been a more exciting time to support people’s mental health, and this opportunity will allow us
to find passionate candidates and provide them with the training they need to make a true
community impact.”

How can companies apply, or find out more?

Companies interested in applying for funds from the Transfer to Transform scheme can visit
www.solentapprenticeshiphub.com/transfer-to-transform, where there are free downloadable
resources provide more detail. Alternatively, you can fill out the application form found on the page
and a member of the Solent Apprenticeship Hub team will quickly be in touch.