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.
AELP has issued updated guidance on how employers and training providers can work together to comply with the 20% off-the-job training (OTJT) rule for apprenticeships – it can be found here.
Transferring apprenticeship service fund
From April 2018 employers who pay the apprenticeship levy will be able to transfer apprenticeship funds to other organisations to pay for their apprenticeship training and assessment
For the first phase, employers who have unused funds in their apprenticeship account will be able to transfer some of those funds to one other employer. The number of employers that you will be able to transfer funds to will increase over time and after user feedback from the first phase.
So what do you need to think about now to prepare for transfers as a levy-paying employer?
Read the ESFA blog for more information or the government guidance. Alternatively you can view this video which gives an overview of how transfers of apprenticeship funds will work on the apprenticeship service.