Apprenticeships are no longer just a career step for young people. The new Apprenticeship reforms mean that anyone, regardless of age or past qualifications, can become an Apprentice.
Businesses are now beginning to utilise the Apprenticeship Levy by hiring and training Apprentices, but many employers still aren’t fully aware that they can use their Apprenticeship Levy funds to develop the skills of their existing workforce.
The Apprenticeship Levy means that it is now easier to train and develop your workforce, therefore strengthening your organisation in the departments that need it most. For example, we have developed a Pathway to Management programme specifically designed to provide leadership and management training to all levels of your managerial staff. Level 3 is aimed at first line managers with supervisory responsibilities with progression onto Level 5 then onto Level 6. Our Pathway to Management programme comes with complimentary membership to CMI (Chartered Management Institution) and, once Level 5 is completed, a CMI qualification.
Below you will find some of the benefits to using your Apprenticeship Levy contributions to train and develop in situ staff:
No restrictions on who can be trained
With the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy came changes to the criteria for becoming an Apprentice. Those who wish to progress in their career or learn new skills through Apprenticeship training no longer need to be aged between 16-24, meaning any of your existing staff can do an Apprenticeship. It should also be emphasised that past qualifications or the location of an employee will not affect them when becoming an Apprentice to develop their knowledge and experience. The only restriction is that the person who is going to be trained must work in England.
Loyalty and staff retention
By using your Apprenticeship Levy contribution to up-skill your existing staff, you are helping them progress their career with new qualifications, whilst creating progression opportunities for some of your most promising employees. Investing in your existing staff can also be financially rewarding as they are more efficient than hiring new staff into your business as there is no dip in productivity. Investing in your existing workforce also sends out a message that you value them and are prepared to invest in them. This has proven to motivate and engage a workforce more effectively than reward schemes in certain businesses.
A simpler route
Deciding to up-skill your existing staff could be an easier route to take as it means you don’t have to go through the process of finding someone suitable to fit your organisation. Your staff are already embedded in your company, they know about your business culture and are happy with how things work. Bringing new skills to people who already have a lot of experience in the organisation may be the best choice for your Apprenticeship Levy strategy.
Highly competent employees
As staff become more skilled in their field of work, they become more competent with the tasks that are given to them. By choosing to up-skill your existing staff, you will find that these people will become more efficient, motivated employees as they will feel more satisfied in their job roles. Not only will it increase competence and quality within your workforce but it also shows your staff that you value them. As an employer, talking to your employees about what other skills they would like to explore and helping them do this through training will positively impact the performance of your business and ensure you are ahead of your competitors. Apprenticeship Standards are now being developed by employers, meaning that you and your chosen training provider can go through the skills gap within your organisation and work together to build the perfect Apprenticeship training programme to enhance your workforces’ skills capabilities.
Return on investment
The Apprenticeship Levy has been put in place by the UK Government to ensure companies have a long lasting and productive workforce. Rather than just seeing the Apprenticeship Levy as another tax, why not put your funds to use by training your existing staff? Government commissioned research on Employer Investment in Apprenticeships and Workplace Learning found that employers will regain their Apprenticeship Levy costs within a couple of years of the completion of training. It’s not surprising that they also found that this is even less regarding existing employees, as the increased productivity and income generation can heighten a company’s return on investment.
Revolutionise your business
All in all the new Government reforms of Apprenticeships and the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy means that companies across England will start to evolve regarding recruitment and skills development. Although Apprenticeships have been around for a long time, the impact of them and the level of qualifications that you can gain through the training programmes is becoming more valuable to both employers and employees. Creating new training programmes that meet the needs of the industry, employers and trainees will bridge the skills gap and create a strong workforce.
If you would like to know more about the Apprenticeship Levy and how 3aaa Apprenticeships could help you to develop training programmes to allow your staff to enhance their skills and confidence click here or contact our Apprenticeship Levy Management Team on 0330 124 3224 or at firstname.lastname@example.org