Umbrella Training has launched two initiatives aimed at giving struggling SMEs access to funding and recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
The national training and apprenticeship provider for hotels, restaurants and foodservice businesses has signed a new agreement with the London Progression Collaboration (LPC) to support its 'reskilling the recovery' campaign.
The campaign, which launched in June, is designed to encourage London's large employers to pledge unspent apprenticeship levy funds to support the recovery of SMEs from the coronavirus crisis and enable them to cover the costs of apprenticeship training.
As part of the new agreement with LPC, Umbrella will identify and support SMEs in developing their people strategies, source apprentices and develop tailored programmes for each business.
To date, LPC has secured more than £1m pledged by levy-paying employers to utilise as levy transfers to SMEs. It is hoped that the new partnership will enable employers to train new staff or upskill existing team members for the recovery ahead.
In addition, as a separate venture, Umbrella will launch a nationwide SME survival toolkit, to help those in the sector navigate government guidelines and funding options.
The toolkit will also give employers access to funded consultancy sessions to explore how to build a people development strategy and fully fund these through levy transfers and grants. It will also include practical tips and guidance for industry leaders on reopening premises safely, training and supporting team members.
Jo Simovic, chief operating office of Umbrella Training, (pictured), said she was delighted to announce the two developments "at such a crucial time for the industry".
She said: "By working with the LPC, we are pleased to be able to offer SMEs meaningful apprenticeships programmes that have been fully funded.
"Continued investment in people isn't just a short-term fix; it's a long-term commitment that can ensure the sustainable development of businesses and the sector as a whole."
Since its inception in 2012, Umbrella Training has supported the recruitment, development and progression of more than 2,000 apprentices.