Multiverse will train more than 5000 apprentices at SMEs and charities over the next twelve months in skills such as software engineering and data analytics.

The training will be offered to SMEs and charities free of charge, thanks to £30m worth of levy funds transferred through collaborations with major companies such as Morgan Stanley, Amazon and Deloitte.

Funds pledged to Multiverse will create more than 5000 apprenticeships at SMEs and charities over the next twelve months. Apprenticeships will be in high-demand skills such as digital marketing and data analytics.

The funds will be offered to small businesses and charities, enabling them to address the number one barrier to growth and success: a shortage of digital skills.

Nine in 10 (88%) UK organisations are facing a shortage of digital skills, which is having a negative impact on growth, efficiency and competitiveness. Thanks to levy donations - SMEs and charities can enrol their staff onto Multiverse programmes with the cost of training fully borne by a larger firm.

The fund is made possible by the government’s Levy Transfer system. All companies with payroll over £3 million are required to pay 0.5% Apprenticeship Levy - which goes into a pot that can be spent on training costs, or transferred to other organisations.

Small businesses and third-sector organisations can access fully-funded training for their staff, thanks to donations of unspent levy from larger organisations. Multiverse partners with companies like Morgan Stanley, Amazon and Deloitte to facilitate these transfers and offer training to their wide client networks. For instance, Multiverse has delivered training to 300 individuals across 60 organisations within Deloitte’s network of charity partners and Fast 50 businesses.

Staff at London-based tech company Paddle have received training in Data Analytics thanks to levy donations facilitated by Deloitte.

Emma Cox, Managing Partner of Deloitte Private, said: "The UK's economic growth depends on the entrepreneurship of privately-owned, tech-enabled businesses, so it's imperative that workforces are trained with the digital skills that they require. Through working with Multiverse, we can ensure that a wider selection of businesses and workers across the UK benefit from upskilling. Not only will this ultimately help close the digital skills gap, it will also improve diversity across the UK technology industry."

Minister for Skills Alex Burghart said: “Apprentices are at the forefront of our skills revolution, driving cutting edge industries such as tech or data analytics.  It is exactly these kinds of partnerships between businesses that are helping to deliver better options for learners, and to create a skilled workforce which meets the needs of the economy.

“That is why we introduced the apprenticeship levy, to support businesses to invest in high-quality apprenticeship training, and the transfer system, which empowers larger businesses to pass up to 25% of their levy funds onto smaller business.

“Multiverse is helping to lead this push and I look forward to hearing the success stories these 5000 apprentices will undoubtedly produce.”

Euan Blair, founder and CEO of Multiverse, said: "Nearly every organisation in the world now needs capabilities like digital marketing, data analytics, and increasingly software engineering. The ability for small businesses to grow and for charities to carry out their vital work is contingent on having the right skills in place.

“But unlike cash or assets, skills cannot normally be handed over. Large organisations looking to support the growth of these SMEs and charities are therefore turning to the levy transfer system as a means of "donating" these vital digital skills through apprenticeships - which are simply the best way to build capabilities within an organisation.”

Visit our levy transfer page here to learn more