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Levy clouds the real value of apprenticeships

Colleges are ideally placed to support your business with Apprentices

Until recently the only ‘Levy’ many people had a passing interest in was possibly the stellar singer, Marcy Levy (of Bob Seger/Eric Clapton fame, who then renamed herself Marcella Detroit to become half of successful 80’s pop duo Shakespears Sister) – anyway, enough musical reminiscing!

While undeniable, the potential financial implications associated with the Apprenticeship Levy must be carefully considered, it is suggested to only have significant implications on a relatively small number of business and really should not deflect from the real focus on a business decision to invest in apprenticeships as a way of developing their workforce. There does appear to be an element of ‘suspended animation’ around apprenticeships due to the Levy malaise, but in reality it’s a sideshow to the real issue at the core of a business decision to support apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships have never been free and while they have nearly always received some form of financial incventive, employers have normally contributed towards the cost of the apprenticeship programme. Apprenticeships have always delivered significant value for a business who wholeheartedly embraces the apprenticeship ethos. They have always entailed an investment of staff time to support apprenticeship delivery, and indeed to get the best from the opportunity at hand.

Fundamentally, if a business is looking to recruit and develop staff through a vocational - oriented programme designed by industry, for industry; if they recognise and accept that they need to put something in to get something worthwhile out (in the form of staff time for support an admin), then nothing has really changed. The vehicle of an apprenticeship programme is the ideal choice.

Colleges are ideally placed to support your business in understanding the implications of the Apprenticeship Levy for your business as the latest information emerges. They offer a growing range of apprenticeship programmes covering virtually all sectors of business. As well as supporting entry into a career, apprenticeships are now increasingly available at Higher, and now Degree, levels to support further technical and professional development. Of course, colleges are also an excellent source of talented people for your business, and colleges are well placed to highlight learners who would flourish under an apprenticeship model.

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