Employer Story

West Midlands Combined Authority Levy Transfer scheme funds apprenticeships for SMEs

Jackdaw Tools, based in Willenhall and Telford, is an engineer merchant and gateway to supply solutions for consumer and trade tooling needs across England.

The West Midlands based SME initially approached Skills Training UK after identifying a skills gap within its existing workforce – the need for digital skills to expand the retailer’s online presence.

Skills Training UK supported Jackdaw Tools to recruit a Digital Marketing Level 3 Apprentice.

The Apprenticeship programme was fully funded by Lloyds TSB through their Levy funding pot and co-ordinated through the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

Whilst SME employers traditionally co-invest 5% of the cost of Apprenticeship programmes, the new scheme sees Levy-paying employers in the West Midlands transferring their unspent levy pots to fund the entirety of Apprenticeship programmes for smaller businesses.

Whilst we have established long-lasting relationships with existing trade and consumer clients, we recognised that to grow our business we couldn’t stay complacent and had to invest in the digital side of our business. Skills Training UK pointed out the scheme and supported us to gain access to this funding, along with identifying high quality candidates for recruitment and delivering excellent training to our new Apprentice. By having the full cost of the Apprenticeship covered by the scheme, we have been able to invest in important hardware and software that will help our new Apprentice bring Jackdaw Tools into the digital age, I have no doubt that this will have a positive impact on our business.

Mark Younger, Sales Director, Jackdaw Tools

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Sean Faulkner, aged 20 from Willenhall, was referred to Skills Training UK by Willenhall Jobcentre after achieving Level 3s in IT and business at his sixth form college.

Since starting his Digital Marketing Apprenticeship at Jackdaw Tools, Sean has already made a significant impact on the business, supporting the social media, website content, helping to develop a new brand identity and increasing online sales through their eBay store.

Level 3 Digital Marketer

What the learners said

Following many years in education I knew that I wanted some hands-on experience and an Apprenticeship seemed like a great opportunity to gain an additional qualification whilst earning and learning at the same time.

Sean Faulkner, Digital Marketing Level 3 Apprentice

It has been great to get stuck into some projects that will hopefully make a real difference to the business. David at Skills Training UK is always available to contact over phone or e-mail and has been a great support in providing me the knowledge and skills to apply within the workplace.

Sean Faulkner, Digital Marketing Level 3 Apprentice

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