Housing association gifts £36K of apprenticeship levy to Bromley-based care home

Housing association Aster Group has gifted £36,000 of its apprenticeship levy to family-run Nightingale Retirement Care home in Bromley. 

Having spent over £189K of its levy funds since April 2022 to invest in its own people and apprenticeship programme, Aster worked with training provider, Paragon Skills, to identify a business who would benefit from funds for apprenticeship training. This led to them gifting the money to Nightingale Retirement Care to help finance the training of 12 Level 2 Adult Care apprentices.

 The funding will not only cover training costs but will also provide career opportunities in a much-needed and understaffed industry - and enable Nightingale to upskill its workforce. 

Liam Tracey, designated CEO at Nightingale Retirement Care, said: “Aster Group has really supported us in funding the future development of our staff. This will not only help our team to improve their skill set and general knowledge but will also help their personal and academic development. 

“We would like to thank Aster for their support.” 

Aster is committed to giving back to the community and supporting local businesses to make a difference. Redistributing apprenticeship levy funds is encouraged by the government where possible and is just one way the housing association is able to give back. 

Jessica Scull, apprenticeship partner at Aster, said: “With recent national figures showing over £3 billion in unspent apprenticeship funds in the last three years, businesses need to look at how they can support those who don’t have access to the levy.

“By investing in our own apprenticeship programmes and then transferring some levy funds, we’re able to provide many apprenticeship opportunities at smaller businesses that will benefit from the support and investment. 

“I would encourage other businesses with unspent levy to think about transferring to other businesses too, enabling them to continue to bridge skills gaps and provide positive, future prospects to many learners.”

Nader Jaafar, sales manager from Paragon Skills, said: “We are extremely appreciative of the support Aster has provided to our clients. 

“Levy transfers are playing a key role in supporting the care sector with staff training and development and ensuring people working in the sector have the tools and knowledge they need to look after our elderly and vulnerable people.”

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