Apprenticeship Levy update: supporting the talent pipeline

Apprenticeship Levy update: supporting the talent pipeline

The latest government guidance on the Apprenticeship Levy was issued on Tuesday 25 October.

In the run-up to the launch of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2016, trailblazing employers have started sharing what they really need for their workforce. The Department for Education has listened and responded positively to feedback from employers.  Organisations of all sizes should find it easier to navigate and choose the apprenticeship training they want for their employees.

In transforming the talent development landscape, consider enhancing the following:

  • Effective communication – be clear and consistent with a fully aligned accurate message. As things change quickly, we all need to stay up-to-date.
  • Active leadership – treat your employees as an infinite talent pool rather than a commodity.
  • Accountability & empowerment – allow people to take ownership of their work.
  • Continuous improvement – be aware that our personal and organisational biases may be the rate limiting factor. Step aside and allow improvements and nurture a culture that invites this wholeheartedly. You are in the driving seat here, not the training providers.

Levy payments due in April 2017 will be deposited in digital accounts that will be active at the end of May 2017.  Employers who have paid will then have 24 months to use these funds for apprenticeship training.  The amount each employer will have to use will be calculated (in February 2017 and thereafter quarterly from July) on the basis of HMRC data held on the workforce living in England plus a 10% top up from the government.

For employers who do not have enough funds in their account or employers who do not pay the Levy, their apprenticeship training will be 90% funded, a co-investment requiring 10% paid directly to the training provider.  For an employer with fewer than 50 employees who wishes to train 16-18 year olds, the government will provide 100% funding up to the funding band maximum.

Frameworks for 16-18 year olds will receive a boost.  Currently about 25% of all new apprentices are between 16 and 18. There will be an additional £1000 paid to the employer, via the provider, to cover additional costs associated with this group.

Ultimately, the price the employer pays will not be differentiated by the age of the apprentice.  More importantly, consider how apprenticeships can support the development of new skills and career progression. There will be a 20% uplift payment as a transitional measure to support providers during this move to new apprenticeship standards.  Additional support paid directly by the government in the first year will be under review as the best ways of ensuring that apprenticeships provide equal opportunity to all are assessed.

Questions for you to consider:

  • Do you have the processes in place to draw on this funding to support your apprenticeship programmes?
  • If the answer is no, seek help and support from credible professionals. Don’t be an ostrich.
  • Will this 24-month window work for your learning and development cycle?
  • Again, be bold and pilot new ways of developing your talent pool.

Uni@Work, Coventry University Group’s provider of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships in the workplace, gives expert advice on the Apprenticeship Levy. Contact Uni@Work to find out more.