Paragon CC uses levy transfer option to help SMEs

Jo Francis
Friday, May 14, 2021

Paragon Customer Communications is donating a chunk of its Apprenticeship Levy fund to help smaller companies pay for training.

Mason Kane, one of the first apprentices on Paragon CC's Ignite scheme
Mason Kane, one of the first apprentices on Paragon CC's Ignite scheme

Large levy-paying employers, such as Paragon, are able to share up to 25% of their annual funds through the levy transfer facility.

The intention is that bigger companies can help support training efforts in their supply chains.  

Paragon CC said its fund will see money distributed to SME businesses to pay for apprenticeship training and assessments for new and existing staff.

Lee Bennett, learning and development business partner, described the company as a “people-led organisation”.

It launched its own new apprenticeship programme, Ignite, earlier this year during National Apprenticeship Week. 

“It’s not just about taking care of our employees across every area of our business, but also supporting our partners and the wider SME community to create a progressive, supportive and healthy working environment for the next generation of professionals in a number of industries,” he said. 

Companies can apply to access the funds via a special section on the Paragon CC website. 

For the current year the firm is looking to offer the full 25% available, split between Paragon CC’s own initiative and its strategic partnership with the Homeserve Foundation.

Karly Lattimore, managing director of training at the BPIF, welcomed the Paragon CC initiative and said she hoped other large industry firms would follow suit. 

The federation is planning to launch a campaign to provide a matchmaking service for SMEs to link with large employers that may have a levy surplus.

“Some of the big companies just write it off as another tax bill. They can make a difference to smaller firms through a levy gift, and we’re hoping to provide a matchmaking service for that,” she said. 

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