Meet Kate Temple-Brown who is Gradvert’s Strategic Apprenticeship Levy Consultant and hear her views on how to make the most out of your Apprenticeship Levy.
The Apprenticeship Levy, introduced in 2017, means that employers are paying in to receive ring fenced learning and development budget, drawn down from the levy. The apprenticeship reforms brought the previously distinct worlds of corporate learning and development and further education into closer contact than they have been before, once fully maximised and understood, the benefits are endless. The Apprenticeship standards are there to provide the flexibility to utilise industry specific qualifications.
It is important to recognise that apprenticeships can be used to support your whole business, not just young people at the start of their career; they can be used to upskill existing staff. Your existing programmes can also be transferred onto apprenticeships, providing consistency across your organisation.
Apprenticeships, from Level 3 through to Level 7, have opened up many opportunities for upskilling existing staff. They have paved the way for an alternative route for training and career progression, as well as new roles.
By offering staff the option to upskill and reskill on the job gives employers the ability to address critical skills gaps and prepare their workforce for future roles. Companies who are maximising the levy funds available to them are utilising these programmes to increase the productivity and profitability of the workforce, as well as increasing employee engagement and decreasing attrition.
Utilising the levy to its full potential can have a positive impact across your organisation and support your business strategies and operations and now is an ideal time to review your learning and development strategy to fully maximise the apprenticeship opportunity.
A way of introducing successful apprenticeship schemes is working with a provider who will not only take time to understand the unique training requirements of an organisation, but also one who has access to a network of fellow expert providers. These can be used as technical experts or an additional voice in the longer programmes.
In fact, according to gov.co.uk, 89% of employers report that apprenticeships improved the quality of their business, and boost productivity by an average of £214 a week. So let’s take a look at how you can make the most of your levy pot before you start to surrender your monthly payments in April 2019:
1. Upskill existing staff
Existing staff can complete an apprenticeship in the same way as new starters, with 20% of their time allocated for study. Staff can now take apprenticeships at the same or lower qualification already held, as long as it’s in a different subject, where the individual needs significant new knowledge and skills. A great example of this is leadership and development, which people rarely do at university, but it is a valuable skill that is needed when entering the world of work.
2. Make sure your funds don’t expire
Levy funds expire after 24 months, so make sure you plan ahead and ensure you have employees ready to begin their training. Your digital account will automatically use the funds that entered your account first, which is a bonus. However, as of 1st April 2019, the Government will reclaim your unused funds in monthly increments to spend on non-levy funded organisations, or your competitors who have already spent their levy pot.
3. Get additional funding for training when your levy runs out
If spending your whole levy pot isn’t a problem, the government will co-invest 90% of any additional training you wish to purchase – as long as you pay the remaining 10%.
4. Share it with your supply chain
Since 2018 the government have made it possible for employers can share their levy pot with other companies – so you can give up to 25% to your supply chain. This has many benefits, such as improving corporate relations and increased productivity across the supply chain.
If you want to find out more about the Apprenticeship Levy, or hear anymore of Kate’s views, head over to www.gradvert.com.