Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes designed around the needs of employers, which lead to nationally recognised qualifications for those undertaking them. You can use apprenticeships to train both new starters or existing employees who are moving to a different job role. More detailed information can be found on the GOV.UK website.
How can apprentices benefit your business?
Improving the Bottom-Line
Apprenticeships deliver real returns to your bottom line, helping to improve productivity and competitiveness. Hiring apprentices can be more cost-effective than recruiting skilled staff, leading to lower overall outlay.
Dealing with a Skills Gap
Apprenticeships deliver skills designed around your business ambitions, providing the skilled workers you need for the future. They also help you develop the specialist skills you require to keep pace with the latest technology and working practices in your industry.
Motivating your Workforce
Apprentices tend to be eager, motivated, flexible and loyal to the company that invested in them. Remember, an apprentice is with you because they want to be – they have made an active choice to learn on the job and a commit to a specific career.
The Apprenticeship Levy
The Apprenticeship levy was announced in 2015 and came into effect in April 2017. It was introduced to help achieve Government targets of three million apprentices by 2020. Only businesses with an annual payroll of more than £3 million are required to pay 0.5% into the apprenticeship levy, and all businesses have an allowance of £15,000, meaning businesses will only pay 0.5% of the wage bill that is over £3 million. It is estimated that less than 2% of UK employers will pay the levy.
If you are a levy paying organisation you will pay your levy to HMRC through PAYE. The levy paid goes into a digital account and then the funds can be used to pay for training for apprentices, delivered by a recognised training provider. The money raised by the levy remains allocated to your business. If after twenty four months the allocated money has not been used for apprenticeship training, it will expire.
If you are a non-levy paying employer, you will ‘co-invest’ in the training of your apprentice, meaning you will share the cost of training and assessment with government. The costs are split so the employer is responsible for 10% of training costs, while the government pays the remaining 90%.