Local governments have budgets to provide schemes, separate from national policy. This means that you need to check with your local council whether they are currently offering a scheme, grant or funding that could assist with you taking on a new apprentice.
This assistance could be as little as personal support and guidance or could be thousands of pounds worth of grants to encourage local businesses to take on apprentices.
In England and Wales, the assistance that is available for businesses is compiled and maintained on the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy’s website. This is a searchable and filterable list of funding and finance that is available for businesses in England and Wales.
Contacting Individual Local Authorities
There are 333 different local authorities spread across England and Wales and a further 32 in Scotland. This number seems unwieldy but it is reasonably easy to track down which one you should be in contact with for queries relating to funding in your local area.
When contacting your local council, it is best to look out for Business Support, Economic Team, or something of a similar name. Most councils will have such a team dedicated to supporting businesses like yours and will have a range of plans that could significantly help you.
You can find your local council’s website by visiting the Local Government Association website and entering the name of the area where you are based if you are in England and Wales or by visiting the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (CoSLA) if you live or are based in Scotland. You will find website contact information to find out more about funding in your local area.
Devolved Governments / Administrations
The devolved Governments and administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have their own systems of support for businesses in the areas that they represent. This is the result of different targeting of resources within each devolved area in order to stimulate economic growth.
These will often take the form of funding portals where businesses can find information on how to obtain funding for businesses in the areas that they administer.
In Northern Ireland, the website to go to in order to find funding information is Invest Northern Ireland. This will outline all of the business funding and advice that is available across different sectors.
The Scottish Government has a searchable site where you can find all business support that is available in Scotland, across local government areas and sectors. This can make it a lot easier to find the support that you need if you are based in Scotland.
Business Gateway also works closely with local authorities to coordinate and disseminate information on funding, so they should be on the list to contact as well.
Business Wales is the organisation to get in touch with if your business is based in Wales and you are looking for financial support. They can help you to navigate the funding streams available for different aspects of businesses in Wales.
Other Useful Contacts
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) can help businesses to get started or expand when they are in the building phase toward their next developmental step. They are an amazing information resource and can help to signpost your business toward the correct assistance in your local area.
The British Chambers of Commerce is another organisation that can help to furnish businesses with the information that they need to grow. They have experts who can talk to business owners and give them the assistance that is required to track down suitable funding options to help meet their goals.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is a membership organisation for businesses that wish to see the economic landscape of the United Kingdom reshaped in their favour. It is essentially a political organisation for business owners who would like to see political decisions that benefit them, and in this sense somewhat akin to a trade union but for business rather than workers.
Business for Scotland is a membership organisation for businesses based in Scotland and it helps to give them relevant information on the Scottish economy and the opportunity to network with like-minded businesses across different sectors.
The Institute of Directors (IoD) is an organisation which is explicitly aimed at directors of businesses, to offer them networking opportunities and to keep them apprised of upcoming opportunities. They can give advice and help to secure funding, and are generally a good information resource to call upon.