The changing market of Apprenticeships

Posted on Sep 02, 2019

The world of apprenticeships has seen dramatic changes in recent years - the impacts of which have been felt by employers, learners and training providers.

Growth and development of apprenticeships is still a main priority for the government, providing a key element of the skills strategy. This growth is also important for employers, in order to make improvements to skills levels and productivity within their own organisations. We’re seeing a huge rise in the number of apprentices studying higher level programmes, an increase in 82% of those aged 25 and over at levels 4 and above.

After the new system was established in 2017, employers and providers are growing in confidence with the application of the new system. With the transition from apprenticeship frameworks to standards, the significant change in curriculum has given employers more control over the content and assessment involved in their apprenticeship programmes.

Levy-payers are under increasing pressure to ‘use it or lose it’ as we enter the fifth month of funds expiring from employer accounts. But it’s clear that many employers still aren’t sure what the levy can be used for.

The levy can be used to fund apprenticeship training and assessments for apprentices in England that work at least 50% of the time - up to the maximum funding band for that programme. If the costs of the training go beyond the maximum funding band, employers will need to pay the difference using their own budget.

Funding for apprenticeships goes beyond funding for new starters, any employee can be enrolled onto a relevant programme as long as a business need is demonstrated for the development of knowledge and skills.

Utilising the money you’re paying into the levy in order to complement internal training programmes is a great place to start. Businesses need to look at what they already fund in-house, and see whether there is a relevant apprenticeship programme that would provide even more value to employees whilst reducing their own spend.

Looking at skills gaps is also useful - we often talk to employers who have brilliant members of staff that don’t have the relevant skills to progress, or they have pain points where they are struggling to recruit for a specific role.

Upskilling not only provides opportunities for development for internal staff - which in turn has added benefits including decrease in staff turnover - but also alleviates stresses and costs that are related to recruitment.

By taking a holistic approach to streamline training within your organisation, you’ll not only save money but vital time too.

For more information on how Learning Curve Group can support your full training strategy, please contact us via email or call 01388 777 129

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