Kingsmill has announced that it is funding the training for a new nurse for the community around their Stoke Bakery – the first of seven new nurses the company will be funding around the UK.
The funding is the result of a collaboration between Health Education England, the National Skills Academy for Food & Drink and British food and drink companies. The scheme sees the companies’ own unused apprenticeship levy funds being redirected to pay to train new NHS health and social care workers.
Since April 2017, businesses with an annual payroll of over £3m have paid 0.5% of that annual payroll to the Apprenticeship Levy – a UK tax which employers can use to fund apprenticeships and training.Companies typically struggle to spend the full funds raised in the levy, a combined result of the limited number of authorised training providers and the high levy per person allocation. If unspent within 24 months, levy funds are returned to the Treasury.
The first nurse funded by Kingsmill is Louise Brown, 42, from Uttoxeter, who currently works at The Balance Street Practice as a healthcare assistant. Louise will train at Derby University for the next two years to become a Level 4 Nursing Associate. The nursing associate role is relatively new in the NHS, bridging the gap between healthcare support workers and registered nurses. Graduating in March 2023, the mother of two boys, aged 10 and 8, will attend university once a week alongside regular on-the-job training and placements. The new nursing associates will help to deliver more services in local GP surgeries, taking some of the load from hospitals.
About the scheme, Allied Bakeries’ HR Director Helen Byrne said “Supporting our local community has always been at the absolute heart of all we do, whether that’s directly through being a great local employer, or indirectly by donating our bakery goods to food redistribution charities, so having the opportunity to contribute directly to the health and wellbeing of those in our community was always going to be something we would embrace. We look forward to continuing this work with Health Education England and the National Skills Academy and to funding the training for six more nurses and hope that other businesses in the UK grocery sector will support this valuable initiative to boost skills while promoting community health and wellbeing.”