The UK Apprenticeship programme has undergone many changes over the last decade, with a steady increase in the interest of employers and apprentices. It could be the result of reforms to make it easier for employers, government incentives to make it profitable, or inspiring stories of successful apprenticeships.
Employers are looking at apprenticeship programmes for a variety of reasons and benefits. For instance, they can upskill their existing employees and tailor the training to their organization needs, improve staff retention and productivity, or save on hiring and training costs. It also provides long-term work-based learning opportunities to all the apprentices to gain hands-on experience in the industry. Thus, both employers and apprentices must understand and appreciate the “why” of apprenticeships.
4 Things Employers Need To Know About Apprenticeships
- Benefits of hiring an apprentice: Apprentices are employed at different levels, from school leavers, graduates to individuals with little to no experience. Anyone can become an apprentice as long as they’re 16 years old, live in England and are not in full-time education. Apprentices have the same right as a regular employee, meaning they earn a wage and are entitled to holidays.
You can hire someone new or even upskill the existing employees. Apprenticeships are funded either by the Levy or by the ESFA (UK Government). Organisations can get certain grants for hiring an apprentice depending if they’re Levy or Non-Levy organisations.
Also, businesses will be benefited because they will be getting a motivated, qualified and skilled workforce who is productive and effective. According to Apprenticeships, 86% of employers have mentioned that apprenticeships helped them develop skills relevant to their industry.
- Funding for your apprenticeship: In the UK, employers are responsible for paying their apprentices’ salaries but training costs can be paid for via The Apprenticeship Levy or funding from the Government. Organisations are divided into Levy and Non-Levy Employers based on the wages they pay.
To get funded by the Government, you need to meet specific terms and conditions. Employers must have an apprenticeship service so that they can access the apprenticeship training. This can help meet the business needs and boost the productivity of the employees.
Organisations pay Apprenticeship Levy based on their annual wages. Apprenticeship Levy is the amount that needs to be paid at the rate of 0.5% of the employer’s annual pay bill. Employers have to pay the Apprenticeship Levy if they have:
- A yearly pay bill of more than £3 million
- Connected to charities or other companies for Employment allowance purposes and combining they have an annual pay bill of more than £3 million
If you fall under this category, the Government will apply for a 10% top-up to the funds that you have in your account. Otherwise, you just have to pay 5% of the outstanding balance, and the Government will pay the rest.
- Create an Apprenticeship Service Account: Employers need to create an Apprenticeship Service Account to manage and access the apprenticeship fundings. Also, setting up and maintaining any apprentices can be done through this account.
Employers can also check the payments to the training providers and permit them to carry out tasks on behalf of you. However, before you even think of creating an account, here are few things you need to have:
- An email address
- Permission to add the PAYE scheme to the account
- Permission to accept employer agreement on your organisation’s behalf
- Also, the Government Gateway login for your organisation or even the accounts office reference number and the employer PAYE scheme reference number will be required
- Choosing your training provider: The moment you decide on the type of apprenticeship programme that suits your business, the next step is to find the right training provider.
You will need to find the apprenticeship training service that allows you to choose the right apprenticeship training course. Also, employers need to find the right course at the right level and skills. However, the training provider doesn’t have to be near you because many deliver training at a national level via online methods.
Your training provider can assist you with:
- Finding the appropriate training for your business
- Recruitment of apprentices
- Onboarding and getting your apprentice ready for the job
- Ensuring that your apprentice is working in a safe working atmosphere
- Make sure that your apprentice is learning the necessary skills for your company
If you are looking for the best Tech And Apprenticeship Training Provider, we have the perfect one for you. Purple Beard is a Government approved Apprenticeship provider where we help employers get matched with the best-motivated tech enthusiasts.
Purple Beard also provides the Government-funded Skills Bootcamps in DevOps, Data Analysis and Cloud Computing. Upon progression, Skills Bootcamps Graduates can then progress into apprenticeship programmes.