Professional body offers to act as “broker” for buddy scheme to enable large firms to use some of their levy outside of their company.
The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has proposed a "buddy scheme" in order to help insurance firms make the best use of the apprenticeships levy.
The levy is a 0.5% charge on firms' payrolls from April 2017 and will be used to find up to three million apprenticeships. It is set to raise around £3bn.
CII CEO Sian Fisher has suggested that large firms use some of their levy contribution outside their own company to help smaller firms.
She also said that the CII could act as a broker between those larger and smaller companies.
Letter to government
In a letter to the Minister of State for Skills, Nick Bowles, she wrote: "Where a firm does not have a list of firms it would like to support or if a firm has exhausted its contacts and/or supply chain but still had levy money to draw down, the CII would act as a broker between the levy firm and the small firm.
"We would then partner up the companies to ensure the best use of the levy for the insurance sector."
Fisher explained that it could be very difficult for some insurance firms to make full use of their levy contribution and warned there was also an issue in stimulating SME capacity to support increasing apprenticeship numbers.
She added: "There is an opportunity for insurance to create a buddy support system for SMEs to benefit from the levy and to play their part in boosting apprenticeship numbers. Having already spoken to a number of firms there is an appetite for such an approach within our sector."
The CII has called on the government to consider the suggestion and advised it would be willing to explore the idea further as the rules of funding are clarified.
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