This week marks the 10th National Apprenticeship Week, which means there will be events running up and down the country for both prospective apprentices and employers, as well as general celebrations of the work apprentices do in the UK.
Companies will be paying special attention to NAW 2017, as we are only one month away from what is perhaps the biggest ever overhaul to how UK apprenticeships are funded.
Previously, companies received apprenticeship funding from the government, but from 6 April 2017, all companies will have to pay 0.5% of all their payroll over £3,000,000 into the new Apprenticeship Levy. These funds can then be claimed back in order to fund government-approved apprenticeship schemes. Many employers will be looking to use this week to learn the ins and outs of the new system, and the wise among them will already be looking at how they can get the most out of their levy funds.
It’s not just the method of funding that’s changing. For the first time ever, university graduates of any age will be eligible for apprenticeships. This means that levy funds can be used to upskill existing employees as well as new hires fresh out of school. With many existing qualifications already meeting the government’s new standards for apprenticeship training, it will be key for companies to convert their current training offerings into apprenticeship formats in order to take full advantage of their levy funds.
If you or your company are concerned that you might be losing out as a result of the changes: don’t panic. We know every inch of the Levy, so we’re the perfect people to turn to for advice on how to get the most out of your funds.