Six dedicated key workers are developing their careers at a care home thanks to an apprenticeship partnership with a Runcorn and Widnes college.

Warrington and Halton Trust has transferred part of their apprenticeship levy funds to St Mary’s Care Home enabling six members of staff to progress through the senior adult care programme at Riverside College.

The apprenticeship levy is paid by businesses with an annual wage bill of £3million or more and can only be used for apprenticeship training and assessment.

Any payments not used within 24 months are covered by the government but levy-paying employers can transfer up to 25 per cent of their contributions to support the apprenticeship needs of their business.

Jayne Smith, head of skills and enterprise at Riverside College at Widnes and Runcorn, said: “It’s brilliant that Warrington and Halton NHS Trust is able to play a key role in supporting additional apprenticeships in this vital sector in the local region.

“We are delighted to be able to broker the levy transfer and be working with St Mary’s Care Home to develop their workforce and help individuals progress their careers in the care sector.”

Debbie Wareing, manager of St Mary’s, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity the local hospital has provided for our staff and care home.

“We are delighted to be part of this kind and generous offer.

“It is so heart warming that the health authority can support local homes in this way, especially during these challenging times.”

Sandra McCann, apprenticeship lead for Warrington and Halton NHS Trust, said: “This was a great opportunity for us at Warrington and Halton teaching hospitals to use our apprenticeship levy to support partners in primary care.

“As a trust, we are passionate about staff development as this enables us to provide exceptional care to our patients, so this was our chance to support and develop staff in a local care home.

“We have worked hard to facilitate levy transfers to four local primary care providers and look forward to seeing staff excel at their apprenticeships.”