There is a growing demand for apprenticeships in the UK with an increase in 17-19 years olds preferring this to a traditional degree course or entry-level job, to acquire skills and valuable industry experience, whilst getting paid at the same time! This on-the-job training combined with formal learning delivered by a college, university, or training provider, leads to a formal assessment and a nationally recognised qualification.
In this article we discuss who is eligible for an apprenticeship, how they are funded, and the benefits they could bring to your organisation.
Who is eligible?
Apprenticeships are not just open to new employees who are at the start of their career. Anyone 16 and above (there is no upper age limit!) in England, looking to upskill in their current role, or looking for a career change, is potentially eligible, providing a great opportunity for organisations to invest in their own workforce.
How does funding work?
The Government can help fund training and assessment costs associated with apprenticeships or provide an incentive payment for other costs. The amount the employer receives depends on whether it pays the apprenticeship levy. If it does not pay the levy, the organisation will pay 5% towards the cost of the apprenticeship training and the Government will pay the remaining 95% directly to the training provider (up to the funding band maximum).
If the employer does pay the apprenticeship levy, it will receive funds to spend on training and assessing an apprentice and the Government will add 10%. These funds vary depending on which region of the UK the organisation is based in.
An additional £1,000 is available to support the apprentice in the workplace if they are:
- 16 to 18 years old
- 19 to 25 years old with an education, health and care plan
- 19 to 25 years old and were previously in care
What benefits can apprenticeships bring to your organisation?
Engaging an apprentice or accessing apprenticeship funding to develop an existing employee is an effective way to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce. Apprentices can have a positive impact on your organisation, and below are just some of the benefits:
- Boosts productivity – Government research has found that 78% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve productivity, which in turn will help support the growth of the organisation.
- Best practice sharing– Apprenticeships are developed by people from within your industry, meaning that standards are designed to be the best. Industry leading skills and best practice knowledge can be shared with your organisation which will also benefit existing employees.
- Upskilling existing staff – Apprenticeships are a cost-effective way for existing employees to learn a new role by upskilling in areas where it is needed most, which is critical for avoiding future skills shortages.
- They offer diversity – Whether it’s a 16-year-old fresh out of school, or an older person looking for a new career path, apprenticeships reach people from diverse backgrounds, by allowing organisations to attract and recruit from a wider talent pool in the local community.
- They free up time – Routine tasks can be delegated to apprentices so other employees can concentrate on more important tasks. As time progresses and they learn more about the organisation, the apprentice can take on more responsibility.
- Improve employee loyalty – Research indicates that apprentices are more likely to stay within an organisation compared to other colleagues, helping to reduce staff turnover and retention.
What else do I need to know?
For an apprenticeship to be successful, it is important that the employer allocates the right amount of time needed to complete any formal learning or off the job training. This must be a minimum of 20% of their working hours, which usually equates to one day per week. It is important that apprentices are paid the correct rate and are given the same entitlements and benefits as other employees, e.g. holiday allowance etc.
World of Work Training
EML have designed a ‘World of Work‘ training session which is aimed at placement students, school and university leavers, new apprentices and newly employed (or soon to be employed) young workers in general. The session provides a better transition from education to the workplace and focuses on understanding workplace etiquette. It also provides a refresher on workplace rules and the reality of what can go wrong if they are not followed. This a bespoke training course designed to meet the needs of your organisation and will cover topics that include:
- Time keeping
- Dress code
- Office banter
- Social media
- Work social events
Give us a call on 01942 727200 or email email@example.com if you think your organisation would benefit from our World of Work training. Alternatively, if you’re an employer considering hiring a new apprentice, or you are looking at upskilling existing staff, get in touch and speak to a member of our team for further guidance.