The two-year anniversary of the Apprenticeship Levy is fast approaching. This is the centrepiece of flagship government reforms to improve Britain’s skill base.
Since April 2017, companies with a wage bill of £3m or more have been paying into an Apprenticeship levy fund with which they can fund apprenticeships and training for new and existing staff. Employers have two years to draw on this pot of funding before it is used to fund training for non-levy paying companies.
Between April 2017 and April 2018 businesses paid £1.39bn into the levy, yet only £108m has been withdrawn for training. This means that the vast majority that are levy-paying businesses are missing out on the opportunity to use the fund to upskill staff.
Let’s look at 5 ways in which your Levy paying business can use these funds to benefit the business.
1. Productivity Growth
New Apprenticeship standards give employers the power to shape the design and delivery of the training to meet their needs. This can improve productivity, reduce waste, and give a real return on investment. For example, improved communication skills for staff can cut down errors and wasted time. This can improve time management and make your business leaner and more productive.
2. Developing Future Leaders
The Apprenticeship Levy tackles concerns over ageing workforces by providing opportunities for existing employees to develop their potential as future leaders. It does this by giving employees the opportunity to learn new skills so that they can progress within your business.
3. Technical Skills
Apprenticeship training perfectly addresses the skills gaps. Many businesses fear that these will hamper their growth, especially in the digital age we are now working in. Having these gaps in knowledge can mean that you may not be able to service a client and them going elsewhere.
4. Communication and Teamwork
It’s always great to get a school leaver into your business and for them to learn and develop with training. One of the beauties of the Levy is that you can use the funds for training for existing employees. You may feel that your team would benefit from better administration skills, for example. Why not key team members on a business administration course through Eden and watch the transformation.
5. Financial Incentives
ROI is a major benefit for businesses that are using their levy, with apprenticeships being used to retrain, upskill, and retain staff. The other element that employers need to keep in mind is the ‘use it or lose it’ element to the Levy. Funds expire after
24 months. This means that you will start to lose your funds from April 2019. If you’re struggling to use your levy funds, you can always share your funds with suppliers etc.
The Apprenticeship Levy can be really beneficial to your business if used correctly and remember, you’ve been paying into it so make sure you don’t lose out on its benefits. Talk to Eden and find out how training through us can offer a real boost to your business.