April 2017 marked the official start of the Apprenticeship Levy, a turning point in the training and development of the UK workforce. From this point on, employees with a PAYE of over £3 million took the step of introducing 0.5% of their employee payroll into the levy pot.
At the time, it was dubbed by many as a cruel ‘tax on employees’, despite the fact that any revenue put aside is actually being reinvested into the business, not the Government.
But one year on, business professionals are seeing the positive results of the new benchmark that the apprenticeship levy has set for the training and growth of future employees and attitudes seem to be shifting for the better.
Progressive insurgence amongst businesses
In a recent study carried out by the Open University, 69% of senior business leaders saw the levy as an opportunity to build up higher skills.
68% established it as a chance to address the skills shortage and 65% agreed that the levy will help organisations attract and retain talent.
Above all, the survey concluded that a promising 92% of organisations operating under the levy agree with it. In fact, levy-paying companies were in much higher support than non-levy payers!
How does it work?
Organisations who fall under the levy umbrella will have 0.5% of their annual pay bill collected by HM Revenue and Customs on a monthly basis. This can be accessed by employees through an online digital service account. Any money in this account must be used towards apprenticeship training and endpoint assessment.
Some companies may find that they struggle to meet the full costs of an apprenticeship. In this case, the government will step in and will help employers meet 90% of the additional costs.
Looking to the future
The past year has seen a lot of positive change for apprentices and businesses alike. Apprenticeships are a brilliant grounding for individuals with a keen career interest to gain foundation development in their fields. The primary benefit to employers and apprentices is that they learn core practical skills from day one.
The best solution to streamlining the development of apprenticeships, moving forward, is to see businesses working in close connection to training providers in order to improve the apprenticeships of the future.
ICON Training provides innovative apprenticeship schemes, that are developed in partnership with leading industry specialists where learners and businesses are supported to grow in confidence and are empowered with the skills for the future.