Apprenticeship Levy: Embrace it or Waste it

The launch of the Apprenticeship Levy, which meant that all employers with an annual payroll of more than £3 million are required to pay into their levy pot at a rate of 0.5% of their total payroll, now seems like a distant memory. But fast-forward two years and 29% of employers who are aware of the levy, only view it as a tax on business and many companies are still hesitant or, in some cases, reluctant to utilise their Apprenticeship Levy funding.

It’s surprising that, even though some companies are now losing their unspent funds that they have been paying into their pot over the last two years, 38% of employers and 58% of staff have said they still know nothing about the levy.

Here’s why Discovery think that companies should get clued up on utilising their Apprenticeship Levy and start to truly reap optimal benefits for their employees and wider business.

The regeneration of Apprenticeships

For a long time, the term apprenticeship has been perceived by companies and individuals alike as a career path for young people, often aged between 16-19 years old. The introduction of the apprenticeship levy has presented an opportunity for businesses to flip this mentality on its head and utilise apprenticeships to upskill their current employees. Whether it’s for longstanding employees or individuals in the early stages of their career, it’s an indispensable opportunity to develop their knowledge, skills and behaviours.

An apprenticeship is a job that incorporates a skills development programme; this can be a course ranging from a level 2 qualification (GCSE equivalent) up to a level 7 qualification (MBA equivalent). In order to meet apprenticeship levy criteria, the apprenticeship must last a minimum of 12 months and the apprentice must engage in 20% off-the-job learning.

But, if this investment means you’re losing employees out of their day-to-day role for 20% of the time, is it worth it?

Yes, we believe it is and here’s why…

Less than 30% of employers offer training to first time managers, which is concerning considering that jobs requiring strong “soft” skills, such as interpersonal, management and communication, have grown 83% over the last 30 years. The Apprenticeship Levy provides a great opportunity for businesses to sustain this growth by utilising pre-allocated expenses for employee development focusing on transferable skills rather than industry-based skills.

The Discovery Way

As experts in recruitment and development, Discovery provides multiple development programmes, from early career and management development to more role-specific sales training, to support companies that want to utilise their Apprenticeship Levy to upskill their employees.

Our OPEN Programmes, which are aimed at two specific, pivotal stages in a career, deliver soft skills training and utilise blended learning to engage and stretch the delegates.

The Early Careers OPEN Programme, catered towards both graduates and individuals starting to progress within the early stages of their career, supports them on their career development journey to increased self-awareness, motivation and productivity.

The OPEN Programme for Managers is designed to be career-defining for delegates, delivering best-in class training to boost business-critical skills and provide effective management tools and leadership skills.

Additionally, we also offer role-specific training including our Level 4 Sales Executive Apprenticeship. The need for professional selling has never been more critical than it is now and this programme can help businesses to get the most out of their sales function. After all, no matter how innovative, unique or high-quality our products & services are, it’s down to our sales people to position our products and services in such a way that they create real customer value.

If you’re looking to transform your workforce, get in touch with one of our team on 0121 665 4060.