// Asda donates £2m to local apprenticeship schemes to support small businesses
// Asda to transfer a portion of its annual Apprenticeship Levy funds to pay for apprentices in small businesses in local communities
// It will distribute an initial £100,000 to local businesses via Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, London Progression Collaboration & Leicester City Council
Asda has announced that it will donate £2 million to small businesses to help fund around 400 apprenticeships in local communities across the country.
Apprenticeship Levy is paid by large businesses and as part of that proposal, Asda has opted to transfer a portion of its annual funds to pay for apprentices to train in small businesses within local communities.
The move coincided with National Apprenticeship Week, and aims to give 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.
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Asda said its support would initially benefit businesses in London, Leeds and Leicester with more to follow over the coming months.
Asda will work with the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, London Progression Collaboration as well as Leicester City Council, all of which will distribute an initial £100,000 to local businesses in their respective areas.
The Big 4 grocer said it was also looking to partner with similar organisations elsewhere in the country, to ensure that the remaining £1.7 million worth of investment available can help businesses thrive.
“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,” Asda chief people officer Hayley Tatum said.
“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.
“We are delighted with how our own apprenticeship scheme is progressing and we are excited to see the positive impacts this investment it will have.”
Asda currently has over 1000 of its own staff on an apprenticeship across the business and at every job level, from hourly colleagues up to senior director level.