5 ways the apprenticeship levy can help you meet your business goals

Categories Employers
5 ways the apprenticeship levy can help you meet your business goals

The Apprenticeship Levy was launched last week in a wave of questions and confusion. The Government is making major investment in the area and is aiming to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020.

Many organisations were caught unawares, not realising they would be liable for the levy. More have been questioning why the levy is relevant to them or even whether they should use it at all. In a sea of new legislation why should employers pay attention to this one?

Over the last few years, the topic of recruiting fresh, young talent has become a melting pot of potential issues. The cost of higher education continues to rise, and yet, graduates are coming into the job market unequipped for the start of a career. Add to that the landscape of a post-Brexit Britain and it becomes even more pertinent.

Where do organisations source skilled, young professionals? How do you plug the skills shortage in the STEM and hospitality industries? How do you keep recruitment and training costs down?

Although controversial, there are many advantages to taking control and getting on board with the new changes. We believe that, whatever your organisation’s needs, the new reforms can help push you towards your business goals.

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Here are our top 5 ideas:

If you need to…recruit young talent in a cost-effective way
Once you’ve calculated how much you have to pay towards the apprenticeship levy, compare it to how much you pay to recruitment agencies for junior staff. Once the money has been taxed it’s kept aside for you to use within two years, so why not use the pot you’ve already got before you lose it?

On top of this, the Government gives you an allowance of £15,000 per year pre tax and tops you up £1 for every £10 so ensure you’re using your subsidies and don’t let them go to waste.

If you don’t pay the levy, like 98% of employers in England, then the Government is giving you even more of a boost by contributing 90% of apprenticeship provider fees. A much more cost-effective way than using recruiters.

If you need to…plug your skills gaps
If you work in an industry that is facing skills shortages, or find it difficult to recruit/retain staff in certain roles, apprentices are a great way to counter this.

Seek out an apprenticeship provider that caters exactly for the skills/jobs you’re missing, and let them recruit for you. A good quality provider will vet candidates pre-interview and even upskill them to ensure they are workplace ready.

Once they are in place they will receive training for a relevant qualification. This means they will be up-to-date in their sector and more likely to stay in that role once qualified. You can further encourage retention by offering degree and postgraduate level qualifications.

If you need to…motivate your workforce
Apprentices are good for staff morale. 92% of apprentice-hiring companies believe that apprentices lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce.

Engaging staff in this way will help with retention all round, again leading to lower recruitment costs.

If you need to…diversify your workforce
Apprenticeships help young people from all backgrounds access careers were perhaps previously available to them. As they are free for all young people you could see a wide range of applicants from all sorts of backgrounds.

There is also a big push for the Government to encourage young people into a variety of jobs, for instance, young women into STEM. The Government is trying hard to shake off the image of ‘apprenticeships are for trade’ and win over talented young women into traditionally male dominated roles.

Workplace diversity is brilliant for improving staff morale, expanding networks and improving innovation.

If you need to…improve innovation
To classify as an apprenticeship, young people must spend at least 20% of their working week studying toward a relevant qualification. This equates to one working day per week.

Although this means your apprentice won’t be available to you, your apprentice will return each week with the new knowledge, skills and fresh ideas.

Think about about it: this is a lot cheaper than sending a current employee on a training course every week for a year! And, as newly minted employees, they will be eager to learn and put their knowledge into practice.

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Get a handle on the basics of the apprenticeship levy here or, get more detail by downloading our comprehensive guide.

If you want more advice on how to find an apprentice that’s right for you, contact our employer team today.