Sky pledges £1 million in apprenticeship funding to small businesses

Tuesday 31 January 2023
  • Sky has partnered with Multiverse, the tech start-up, which aims to provide an alternative to university and corporate training
  • This investment will fund training for apprentices in skills such as digital marketing and data analytics

Sky has partnered with the tech start-up Multiverse to gift £1 million of its unspent apprenticeship levy to organisations looking to develop digital, data and technical skills within its workforce.

More than £1 billion worth of business apprenticeship levy goes unspent each year. That would be enough to create 115,540 apprenticeships✝ - the equivalent of almost halving the number of 16-24 year olds not in education, employment or training.

However, through the levy transfer system businesses who pay the Apprenticeship Levy each year have the ability to transfer this money to other organisations.

Sky’s work with Multiverse means that its unspent apprenticeship levy expire can go directly to small businesses who are looking to provide crucial skills within their organisation.

This is part of the Sky’s contribution to the UK cultural economy through skills, jobs, and investment, and comes as nine in 10 (88%) UK organisations are facing a shortage of digital skills impacting growth, efficiency and competitiveness.

“There’s a huge demand from small businesses to upskill their workforce, yet many don’t have access to the funding needed to do this. Multiverse’s apprenticeship gifting programme enables businesses like Sky to help boost skills and training in our economy. Working with Multiverse, we’re supporting apprentices up and down the UK to develop crucial skills that play an important role in the UK economy.”
Dana Strong

Group Chief Executive Officer at Sky

Jeremy Duggan, President at Multiverse, said:"Every organisation in the world now needs capabilities like digital marketing, data analytics, and increasingly software engineering. The ability for small businesses to grow is contingent on having the right skills in place."

“We know that small businesses are crying out for more apprenticeships. Through the levy transfer system, Sky is supporting the growth of these SMEs by 'donating' these vital digital skills through apprenticeships - which are simply the best way to build capabilities within an organisation.”

SMEs can request to enrol their colleagues onto Multiverse programmes with no cost to the business – this can be requested on the Multiverse website.

This announcement follows the recent launch of Sky’s Sky Up Tech Grants initiative which is an investment of £220,000 to provide those leaving the care system with equipment and connectivity so they can access the digital world. This initiative is part of the £10 million Sky Up programme, created to ensure that groups who are most at risk of digital exclusion - under 25s in under-served communities and over 65s - are provided with the skills they need to succeed.

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 through the government’s Levy Transfer system.

Notes to editors

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This pledge follows the recent launch of Sky’s initiative Sky Up, in partnership with the social value agency Spectra, where the company provides young people leaving the care system with the tools, skills and knowledge that they need to unlock the digital world.

About Sky

Sky is one of Europe’s leading media and entertainment companies and is part of Comcast Corporation, a global media and technology company that connects people to moments and experiences that matter. At Sky we Believe in Better. It’s in our DNA.

We’re famous for innovation. We offer streaming services NOW and WOW; the world’s smartest TV, Sky Glass; Sky Stream, the new, easy way to get the Sky Glass experience on any TV; and the best aggregation platform, Sky Q. We provide connectivity you can count on in mobile, and fast, secure, reliable residential and business broadband.

We’re Europe’s premium content producer. We create award-winning original content, produce the biggest live sporting events, and we provide free access to news and the arts.

We believe that we can have a positive impact on society, by supporting and creating tens of thousands of jobs, addressing digital inequality, being a diverse and inclusive employer, and becoming net zero carbon by 2030.

About Multiverse

Multiverse is a startup tech company building an outstanding alternative to university and corporate training through apprenticeships. The company announced the closing of a $220 million Series D funding round earlier this year and now trains over 10,000 tech, leadership and digital apprentices.

Based on average apprenticeship cost calculated by IFATE