Parcel and mail logistics specialist Whistl has committed to fund 251 apprenticeships in 76 different organisations since launching the fund in February this year.

Under the scheme Whistl invited small businesses in the areas where it has sites to apply for funding for their own Level 2 to 5 apprenticeship schemes with a focus on early years learning, digital and engineering focused apprenticeships.

Whistl typically has £30,000 a month available from its Levy to fund apprenticeship training both within the company and the community with £422,000 being allocated to fund the apprenticeships.

Alistair Cochrane, chief executive, Whistl, said: “We are delighted with the response we have received to the launch of the Whistl Apprenticeship Fund.

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“To be able to support organisations with 251 apprentices enables us to make a real difference in the communities in which we work. This initiative allows us to help local organisations and residents to develop their talent and careers.”

Minister for Skills Andrea Jenkyns said: “Apprenticeships are at the heart of our ambitious skills agenda, and it’s great to see companies like Whistl helping to plug skills gaps in vital sectors like engineering and digital by sharing their apprenticeship funds with smaller companies.

“Supporting small businesses to invest in apprenticeships not only gives more people the opportunity to earn while they learn and kickstart a rewarding career; it also helps to deliver the highly skilled workforce employers so desperately need.”