When 3aaa established a team earlier this year to initiate discussions with employers who will be paying the Apprenticeship Levy from April 2017, we thought we might have been a little bit early in the cycle. In fact employers have welcomed the discussions around how the Levy will affect them and more importantly how they can use the introduction of the Levy to review their whole workforce development approach and to see how apprenticeships fit within that. What is also clear is that many employers have old fashioned perceptions of Apprenticeships, many still feel that they are only for young people and only for new recruits. Others do not realise that there is an Apprenticeship for every type of workplace skill right through to senior management levels.
So although the Levy may be the starting point for discussions for us, it moves quickly into how we can find solutions for the employers skills and workforce issues. Solutions for us may well include Apprenticeships but can also cover commercial delivery of training and highly focused management development programmes. What the employers are looking for are solutions not just Apprenticeship starts. There is enough flexibility in our delivery model of Apprenticeships to ensure that they always deliver what the employer wants.
We do not think the Government will delay decisions about the introduction of the levy in 2017 but even if they do the discussions with employers that we have been started will continue because we know we have solutions that will work whatever the Government support will be.
Our project managers are already starting their work with employers and many of them are likely to start piloting work well before April 2017 because government support is already available and we are recruiting another group of project managers over the next few weeks.
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