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Venturesome team


Charities Aid Foundation


6 January 2017

Apprenticeships are a key component to the government’s strategy to improve the level of social mobility of young people in the UK. They have increased in prominence over recent years as a result of the growing cost of formal education and the growing need for a more skilled labour force in order to boost economic activity. This presents both a challenge and opportunity as there is a clear demand for Apprenticeships across the UK both from young people and industry while at the same there is a clear issue in the way young people are able to access such opportunities.


This challenge does present an opportunity for social enterprises given the way they are able to work with young people and other third sector organisations as well as the focus they have on social impact. One such organisation is K10 Apprenticeships Ltd. K10 provides apprenticeship opportunities for young people with a key focus on placing disadvantaged young people into roles within the construction sector. It was originally setup four years ago on the back of the difficulties faced in placing apprentices into the construction sector due to the sector’s fragmented structure. Since January 2013, K10 has placed over 450 apprentices with 150 apprentices completing their apprenticeships and/or found full employment.

In April 2016 CAF Venturesome was approached by K10 for social investment that was intended to refinance an earlier financing facility that K10 had secured from Impact Ventures UK (another social investor), for which it was paying a high interest rate on. Now that K10 had demonstrated that it had a more sustainable model both K10 and Impact Ventures UK were keen to have this financing facility refinanced. CAF Venturesome approved a £200k loan that sat alongside two other funders – a Trust for London loan for £250k and a Treebeard Trust loan for £50k – that fully refinanced the outstanding Impact Ventures UK financing facility.

One of the biggest results for K10 following the refinancing of its Impact Ventures facility has been the fact that it will now pay less interest, which will have a number of results for its overall activity. These will be the following:

  • The reduction in its interest costs will enable K10 to allocate more funding in order to be able to provide further support apprentices through an increase in the wages it pays them.
  • The reduced interest costs will also help K10 improve its overall sustainability and overall creditworthiness as it looks to grow its service.

“The social investment loan provided by CAF Venturesome has enabled us to work with other like minded investors on a collaborative basis to support a high impact social enterprise in the next phase of its journey. Organisations like K10 will play a key role in the years ahead in facilitating the growth of apprenticeships across the UK and providing much needed support and opportunities to disadvantaged young people.”

Tim Lunt, CEO of K10 Apprenticeship Limited

This refinancing comes at an important time for K10 following the governments announcement of the Apprenticeship Levy in 2015. The levy requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill over £3 million each year to pay a levy 0.5% of their total pay bill which will be used to invest in apprenticeships. This alongside the governments aim that 2.3% of the public sector workforce is to be made up of apprentices presents a opportunity for K10 to provide both apprentices and to advise and work with organisations who do not have sufficient experience in delivering apprenticeships. A clear example of how K10 has been able to use this to work with organisations is the contract that it has with Heathrow that will see it deliver 1,200 apprentices over the next three years.

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