It won’t be long before the new Apprenticeship Levy comes into effect in April 2017.
For affected businesses, this is a great opportunity to tackle looming talent challenges such as skills shortages in key industries.
The Government want to see 3,000,000 Apprenticeship starters by 2020. So, the big question – are you ready?
If you feel as though you’re going to be affected, you need to get on with your planning. Everyone will receive the call for contribution, so you may as well get something out of it.
Do you know what you need? If you don’t – here are a few considerations from Cohesion.
Do you know where your skills gaps are? Do you know where an ageing workforce may cause you problems? What types of skills will you need in the near future? Are these skills currently covered by the apprenticeship framework? All of the above are relevant, important questions that you should be deliberating.
Currently, the Levy only covers England. But it may also be used across group companies; so, think about your current and future Talent cold spots!
You can use the Levy to offer Apprenticeships to your existing workforce. It can even be used to fund Graduates who are acquiring new skills.
This is your opportunity to take a good look at your existing workforce and inject some future proofing!
Apprenticeships are due to become a legally protected term under the Enterprise Bill so that companies cannot use the Levy to pay for existing training. Investing in your existing team will also help you to retain talent, so make sure your development value proposition is easily accessible for your current employees, too.
Working with local schools is a great way to begin to develop a Future Talent pipeline and build your business profile. 75% of career advisors say they are happy to be contacted at any point during the term by employers and more than 80% of subject teachers wish they knew more about options open to their students (**). Students and their parents want to know more about early career opportunities and how individuals can progress within the organisation offering the apprenticeship – so make sure to make information clear and easy to find.
Carefully assess your Future Talent programmes
Many employers are now putting a more equal emphasis on school leaver recruitment as they are graduate recruitment. Don’t switch off existing channels but give consideration to new ones that may have different entry points and levels. UK rents are high and relocation is expensive. Entry level talent is much more likely to live at home during the early years of their career so think about local versus national pressures.
Longer term market development
For businesses that need skills in their supply chain there is talk of allowing (subject to a value-for-money assessment) some funds to be directed to other employers from 2018. This could help you to tackle future barriers to success in your industry.
The Apprenticeship Levy is coming, regardless of how prepared or unprepared you, as a Company, are. The better prepared you are – the lesser the impact.
How will you prepare yourself for the Apprenticeship Levy?
* “School and College Leaver Careers Market 2016” Allaboutschoolleavers.co.uk
** “School and College Leaver Careers Market 2016” Allaboutschoolleavers.co.uk