Apprenticeships are key to growing a skilled and competitive workforce that meets the needs of employers and drives business growth.
They are real jobs with training, available in more than 170 industries and 1500 job roles. Through their apprenticeship, apprentices gain the technical knowledge, practical experience and wider skills they need for their immediate job and future career.
The main rules governing apprenticeships are:
- the apprentice must be employed in a real job; they may be an existing employee or a new hire
- the apprentice must work towards achieving an approved apprenticeship standard or apprenticeship framework
- the apprenticeship training must last at least 12 months
- the apprentice must spend at least 20% of their time on off-the-job training – this training must be directly relevant to the apprenticeship framework or standard.
The way apprenticeships are funded has changed since May 2017.
If you’re an employer with a pay bill over £3 million each year, you must pay the apprenticeship levy.
Benefits to employers
Recent government research into businesses employing apprentices reveals that:
- 96% report benefits to their business
- 88% report a more satisfied and motivated workforce
- 81% report increased productivity
- 81% of consumers also favour companies that employ apprentices
- Apprenticeships are a tried and tested way to recruit new staff, re-train or upskill existing staff
- Apprenticeships can help you tackle skill shortages
- Apprenticeships are a great way of attracting enthusiastic talent with fresh ideas
- Apprenticeships can be tailored to specific job roles, making them flexible to the needs of your business
- Apprenticeships provide you with the skilled workers you need for the future.
- Apprenticeships can help reduce staff turnover, by increasing employee satisfisfaction and loyalty
You can search for training providers for your apprentice via two ways: either through a national database or in the Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Partnership apprenticeship directory.
The Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Partnership comprises of FE colleges, independent training providers and voluntary and community sector organisations who deliver in the local authority areas of Swindon, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. Members deliver a range of training provision, including apprenticeships, maths, English, ESOL, Foundation Learning, Study Programmes, Traineeships, employability skills, adult learning, Foundation Degrees and work-based learning.
You can contact us and we’ll help you find the right apprenticeship framework or standard and training provider to match your needs.
For support around higher apprenticeships please contact Higher Futures.
The Gov website holds information on how apprenticeship funding affects employers, from May 2017 onwards, including the apprenticeship levy and the online apprenticeship service.
Transferring unused apprenticeship funds to other employers
From April 2019, levy-paying employers can transfer a maximum amount of 25% of their annual funds. They can make transfers from their apprenticeship account to as many employers as they choose.
The apprenticeship service calculates this amount by:
- the total amount of levy declared in the previous tax year
- with the English percentage applied
- plus the payment of 10% from the government
For more information take a look at the guidance on the GOV.UK website. Alternatively you can view this video which gives an overview of how transfers of apprenticeship funds will work on the apprenticeship service.
Develop a New Standard
If you have a skills gap in your company but can’t find the apprenticeship standard you need, become involved in developing a new standard!