Apprenticeships are at the heart of the government’s drive to equip people with the skills that young people need to grow and compete. They bring many benefits and competitive advantages to both apprentices and the employers that offer them.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announced in June 2015 that there have been 2.2 million apprenticeships created in the UK since May 2010. Since then, the government has committed itself to the ambitious target of creating 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020. Apprenticeships are currently evolving and expanding, with some really exciting opportunities for a career in a huge range of sectors.

We fully support the role of apprentices within businesses in Devon and encourage businesses to consider taking on an apprentice through marketing communications activity, and a dedicated Apprenticeships website.

Whether you are looking to employ an apprentice, or are seeking an apprenticeship vacancy, the Government website for apprenticeships contain vast amounts of information.

Get In Go Far is a campaign launched by the government and top employers to encourage apprenticeship across UK, showcasing the variety and quality of apprenticeships that are now on offer. The Get in Go Far website is aimed at apprentices, employers and parents and offers advice and guidance on apprenticeships.

The Devon and Cornwall Training Providers Network, is a not-for-profit organisation that covers both Devon and Cornwall, providing a voice for the training provider sector, as well as giving practical support and partnership opportunities for Members. The Network aims to promote and support post-16 education and training, as well as supporting both those delivering and those in receipt of training.

The Apprenticeship Levy

The Apprenticeship Levy was announced in 2015 and came into effect in April 2017, was introduced to help achieve government targets of three million apprentices by 2020.

Only businesses with an annual payroll of more than £3m are required to pay 0.5% into the apprenticeship levy. It is estimated that less than 2% of UK employers will pay the levy.

The Levy paid by an organisation goes into a digital account and then fund can be used to pay for training for the apprentice, delivered by a recognised training provider. The money raised by the levy remains allocated to the business that paid it.

If after 24 months the allocated money had not been used for apprenticeship training, it will be moved into a central account to go towards funding for non-levy paying organisations.

Non-levy paying employers will share the cost of training and assessing their apprentices with government, split so that businesses are responsible for 10% of training costs, while the government pays the remaining 90%. This does not cover apprentice wages; however, wages do tend to be lower for apprentices.

There are also incentive payments available to employers for specific groups under the apprenticeship levy; for each apprentice between 16 and 18 years old, and 19 to 24 years old who have previously been in care or who have a Local Authority Education, Health and Care plan an organisation employs they are entitled to a payment of £1000. This is available to all businesses, irrespective of size.