Asda has announced that in celebration of National Apprenticeship Week, it will donate £2m to small businesses to help fund around 400 apprenticeships in local communities across the country.
The grocer has “opted” to transfer a portion of its annual funds to pay for apprentices to train in small businesses, giving young people the opportunity to develop new skills and small businesses the support to develop young talent that they may otherwise not be able to afford.
Additionally the company will reportedly work with the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), London Progression Collaboration (LPC) as well as Leicester City Council, who will each help distribute an initial £100,000 to local businesses in their areas.
The supermarket revealed it is also looking to partner with other similar organisations elsewhere in the country ensuring that the remaining £1.7m worth of investment available can help businesses thrive.
Hayley Tatum, chief people officer, Asda, said: “We understand how vital apprenticeships are to companies big and small – providing opportunities for growth and also for young people to gain employment and vital new skills.
“Throughout the pandemic we have done all we can to support our local communities – not just as a supermarket, but as a large business with the ability to have a real impact in the communities we serve. We understand that now, more than ever small businesses and people in our communities need support due to the scale of the economic and social impacts of Covid-19.”
Asda currently has over 1000 of its own colleagues on an apprenticeship across every area of its business and every job level from hourly colleagues up to senior director level.
Roger Marsh, chair of the Leeds city region enterprise partnership and the NP11, said: “It is great to see a major supermarket chain like ASDA, committing to transferring their unused apprenticeship levy funding to help apprentices within the Leeds City Region.
“Levy-paying businesses play a key role in supporting apprenticeships across the region and help to give people the opportunity to gain valuable skills and training. Using unspent levy funds to cover 100% of training costs for local businesses will increase skills across sectors and support our future workforce while providing long-term benefits for multiple industries.”