Apprenticeship Levy – Are You Ready?
In his 2015 Autumn statement, former Chancellor George Osborne announced his plan to raise £3b to fund Apprenticeships in England. Since then, plans have emerged in relation to the Apprenticeship Levy whereby all UK organisations with a wage bill in excess of £3m a year are required to pay 0.5% (declared to HMRC and paid via PAYE) into the Levy.
The Levy will be implemented from 6th April this year and organisations will be expected to pay in from this date. After declaring the Levy to HMRC, it is anticipated that organisations in England will have access to funding for Apprenticeships (from May 2017) via a digital voucher system whereby the employer pays a training provider directly for delivery of Apprenticeships. However, as skills policy is devolved in Wales, we are still unsure about the implications of the Levy in terms of funding for Apprenticeships. In fact, despite Welsh organisations paying into the Levy, it is unclear whether or not it will actually increase overall funding for Wales’ highly successful Apprenticeship programme at all. We know that the digital voucher scheme will not be implemented in Wales because we already have a fully funded provision available for individuals of all ages (although eligibility criteria does apply).
The good news for Wales is that Welsh Government has pledged to create at least 100, 000 high quality, all age Apprenticeships over the next five years; regardless of the funding received as a result of the Levy. This provides Welsh organisations (small, medium and large) with a great opportunity to recruit talented new employees and provide their existing workforce with high quality vocational training. Educ8 engaged with over 150 employers in 2016 for the delivery of Apprenticeships; including; Nuaire, Penn Pharma and International Greetings, within a range of sectoral routes. In 2017, we are looking forward to supporting even more employers to access these programmes.
‘There has never been a better time for organisations of all sizes to access the Apprenticeship scheme in Wales. Changes in funding in August 2016 means that these fully funded programmes are now available for individuals of all ages and we’ve seen a tremendous increase in the uptake of Higher Apprenticeships, particularly in relation to our ILM Management qualifications. It is important that employers recognise that Apprenticeships are not only a fantastic way to recruit fresh, new talent into their organisations; but that they also provide an opportunity to upskill their current workforce and help future-proof their business.
Established in 2004, the Educ8 Group represents a leading provider of Apprenticeship opportunities in Wales. We are continuously growing and we offer a diverse range of pathways; including:
- ILM Leadership and Management
- Business Admin, Retail & Customer Service
- Engineering & Manufacturing
- Advice & Guidance
- Health & Social Care & Child Care
Educ8 is an approved provider in England and we would be happy to discuss opportunities for maximising funding via the Levy for organisations who perhaps operate both in England and Wales. In 2016 we were re-accredited with Best Companies 3 Star Status as well as Investors in People Gold and we were listed as the second best small company to work for in the Times Top 100 list.’
Grant Santos, Managing Director
Telephone: 01443 749011