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Employment and training

Catch22 joins Reskilling the Recovery

A mechanic shows his apprentice how to work on a car. She is removing a wheel. They are both wearing coveralls.

Reskilling the Recovery is asking London’s large employers to pledge their unspent apprenticeship levy. These funds will be transferred to London’s SMEs, supporting their recovery from the COVID-19 crisis by paying for apprenticeship training.

Catch22 is joining the likes of the BBC, City University, and Pearson, to boost the number of apprenticeships available to London’s low-paid workers.

Reskilling the Recovery is a pilot project from the London Progression Collaboration, allowing large organisations to pledge their unspent levy to SMEs, to support the training of staff for struggling businesses across London.

The £500,000 of levy funds from these organisations will pay for up to 100 Londoners’ apprenticeships, enabling individuals to build their skills in work and small businesses to access the skills and training they need.

Chris Wright, Chief Executive of Catch22, said:

“Now more than ever, having a workforce whose skills are matched to business need is vital. The apprenticeship levy is a great lever for driving up youth skills development and employment in the capital – and forward thinking employers are already signed up to using their unspent levy to do just that.

“We know that the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the jobs market has, and will be, significant – and young people and those already in vulnerable positions will fare worse. This is a fantastic campaign that will help Londoners into jobs whilst supporting smaller businesses to recover by ensuring their workforce is appropriately skilled.”

The initiative comes with SMEs hardest hit by the impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown on businesses, with predictions that one in five smaller businesses could collapse due to the current crisis.