Career development and the need for continuous learning
Lifelong learning and the need for upskilling has never been more important in today’s world as we enter into the fourth industrial revolution with the integration of artificial intelligence, big data and introduction of new technology into our homes and workplaces. In a recent HR review article it stated a third of workers in Great Britain – and almost half (48per cent) of those aged 55 and over – did not learn any new workplace skills last year.
The World economic Forum future of jobs 2018 report predicts the types of skills which will be required in the future as more routine tasks are replaced by technology, and new emerging roles are created requiring a different skill set; These include leadership and social influence, complex problem solving, emotional intelligence, analytical thinking, systems analysis and evaluation to name a few.
With this in mind and the growing skills gap / talent shortages across the UK, the introduction of the apprenticeship levy last April presents opportunities for businesses to develop their existing staff or bring new talent into their organisation.
There are a number of new apprenticeship programmes being gradually introduced which can be used for staff in new roles looking to gain a professional qualification or support a new recruit. A few examples taken from the hundreds already developed include:
Improvement practitioner (six sigma) popular among manufacturing organisations
Masters in accounting
HR Consultant / partner
Along with other apprenticeship programmes in financial services, engineering, digital technologies, cyber security, health and many more.
Who pays the levy?
Companies who have an annual pay bill of £3m or more will pay 0.5% into a levy pot, with a £15K allowance from the government and will receive 10% monthly top ups to their account. A business has 24 months to utilise the money in the pot for apprenticeship training. In April 2019 the funds that were paid into the levy pot in April of last year will start to expire.
Small businesses will receive 90% funding from the government towards the cost of apprenticeship training (increasing to 95% in April 2019).
How can I spend the levy money?
It's vital for a business to utilise the money wisely for it to have an impact on the workforce, business objectives and to address any skills gaps. This could include looking at new vacancies across the business to identify whether apprenticeships would be a good fit. If you have individuals wanting to progress within the business and perhaps undertake a professional qualification apprenticeships can help. They range from level 2 (similar to GCSE level) up to level 7 (Masters level). Anyone 16 years of age plus is eligible to undertake an apprenticeship. If you have a skills gap in your organisation with hard to fill roles it would be wise to look at investing in apprenticeships.
We recognise that there is groundwork to be done within an organisation to educate and inform the workforce and management around apprenticeships, branding is crucial as well as managing individual expectations and getting the pastoral support right for young apprentices. It is quite sensible for a business to start small with 1 or 2 apprentices and then build on this.
Levy payers can also transfer up to 10% of their annual funds to other businesses (this will increase to 25% in April 2019) who are looking to recruit new apprentices, something you’d like to consider if you’re working with organisations in your supply chain.
How can Higher Futures help your business?
Eligibility to undertake apprenticeships
What training is available and how much it costs
Who can provide the training locally
How the funding works
How to transfer your levy
How can you best introduce apprenticeships, what do you need to think about?
How can you use apprenticeships?
Build your talent pipeline and link to schools, colleges, universities and other skills programmes
Selecting a training provider
Have you achieved great things with your apprenticeship levy or have you written it off as a tax?
Let us know your experiences or if you’d like advice on how to maximise your levy spend, contact Higher Futures, a free and impartial skills service dedicated to businesses of all sizes in Swindon and Wiltshire.
If you are looking to transfer your levy, do get in touch as we work with small businesses.Take our quiz to understand more about apprenticeships
For more information contact Higher Futures on 01225 756174