The apprenticeship levy enables targeted development strategies
Every organisation – from SMEs to large companies – can build a world-class development strategy thanks to the apprenticeship levy. This government scheme raises a 0.5% levy on the payroll of large employers with an annual wage bill exceeding £3 million. This funding can be used within 24 months to cover the organisation’s own apprenticeship scheme – any unused funds expire and return to the government.
But it isn’t just a nuisance tax. Thanks to the system reforms brought in alongside the levy, it’s actually a planned investment you can make use of to add real value to your business. For instance, the shift from apprenticeship frameworks to apprenticeship standards gives employers more control when it comes to areas of development. Team members can now excel in a specific role, and have a much clearer idea on how to progress in their careers. Our level 3 team leader apprenticeship is a strong example of how you can now shape the training model to suit the needs of your business, and refine the curriculum to align with your core values and target markets.
The levy has changed who can deliver funded training too. A register of apprenticeship training providers (RoATP) was set up at the same time as the levy, enabling businesses to look beyond the larger and more generalised providers. Now, specialist providers like us can help ensure your team is supported with relevant training delivered by subject matter experts.
SMEs with wage bills below the £3 million benchmark don’t miss out either. Non-levy paying employers can still receive 95% of the cost of an apprenticeship through the government's co-investment scheme, creating a greater sense of balance between companies and greater access to additional training for workers.
They’re crucial to continuous professional development
The levy has certainly played its part in championing the value of apprenticeships. Where some employers had previously disregarded training programmes due to budget constraints, they’re now taking full advantage of them to upskill their staff.
There’s been a monumental shift in perceptions too. While apprenticeships have seemingly fallen out of favour for under 17s, they continue to be popular among over 24s and tend to be at a higher or advanced level. Apprenticeships are no longer viewed as just an option for school leavers, but a way to offer training to any staff member regardless of age or experience. Even a business director can study an MBA as an apprentice.
What’s more, with a tailor-made training plan to tap into, employers don’t need to find their own opportunities for CPD. 20% of the apprenticeship is made up of off-the-job learning, providing outside support and expert guidance to ensure learners get the very most from it.
In some cases, apprenticeships are even helping employers retain talent. They offer continuous development by their very nature, which is a key indicator to staff that you care about them and are willing to invest in their progression. Millennials and Gen Z value this in particular, often more so than money.
It couldn’t be easier to get started and begin seeing results
But where should you start? One route is a levy-funded Level 4 Sales Executive Apprenticeship. Sales is often one of the most underfunded and overlooked areas when it comes to training, yet a well-organised sales team is essential to business success. This apprenticeship trains your team on ethical sales tactics that can generate more revenue and create happier customers, in turn adding more credibility to your organisation and leading to more enquiries. It also includes content on sector intelligence, sales negotiations, questioning skills and professional behaviours.
AkzoNobel and Buildbase are just two companies that have reported a number of benefits from this apprenticeship, including:
Enhanced sales performance.
Improved employee confidence.
Opportunities to promote internally.
Full use of their levy payments.
With the right apprenticeships, employers can now truly improve performance and progress careers. To find out how BMS Progress will guide your staff to reach their full potential, get in touch. We’ll outline how we’ll work in tandem with you to ensure all programme content aligns with your wider objectives and paves the way for continuous improvement.