The Apprenticeship Levy...........How are you using yours ?

The Apprenticeship Levy...........How are you using yours ?

Posted by on 23 August 2018 | Comments

When the Apprenticeship Levy was launched, I found it interesting talking to other companies on how they were going to use it as no-one appeared to really understand it. Our own HR Manager at the time indicated the funds could be used to up-skill some of our existing work-force, but neglected to mention the study time that would have to be put in on a weekly basis, which would prove impossible operationally during busy parts of the season. At any rate, that isn't what it was designed to do.

Others considered breaking up their companies into smaller operating groups to avoid the qualifying level (a wage bill over £3m per annum) towards the Levy, or, where they had training assessment accreditations, setting up courses to utilise by misuse to contribute to cheap labour (we've all read about the Barista training - ). Bottom line was many regarded it as a burden or something to be exploited.

I admit that we didn't start using our pot until this year when we realised we would lose access to funding we had contributed to and so, to a certain extent, our hand was forced.

Salaries for apprenticeships are low in our area (circa £11k to £13k per annum), but we have recruited 3 wonderful young prospects in Steven, Josh and Rachel (we are currently recruiting a 4th) completing NVQ's in Logistics, Learning & Development and Business, whilst experiencing a real live working environment that they are actively contributing to and learning on the job. We celebrated them today by providing a First Day Take Away for all the team in the office (a Chinese, as voted for by our Apprentices).

The reality is that if used properly, which we are trying to do, it isn't a burden at all. It's actually providing an easy and cost effective route to succession-planning. My own children went to University and both qualified with good Degrees and one with a Masters. However, visiting them and speaking to others highlighted how many of our youth attend Universities because they feel it is their right. and not because they feel they need an academic qualification, only to drop out or finish with limited employment prospects and large debt. I think for a large part of our youth, the apprenticeship is a great option. Learn, earn and turn your training period into a career option. I'm looking forward to more joining us over the coming years as they are going to become our future if we look after them and train them properly. A great investment in our future.


Josh Rachel