If you’re considering starting an apprenticeship programme in your workplace, because of this weeks implementation of the Apprenticeship Levy – it makes sense to have a good understanding of the parameters you’ll need to work within when it comes to offering apprenticeships. For many people, the image of an apprentice is a school leaver, somewhere between 16 and 21 years of age with little experience or qualifications and if you’ve taken note of the government’s advertising in the past couple of years, that has probably reinforced those preconceptions.
But things have changed and the new rules about the use of your apprenticeship levy means that almost anyone that you employ can be an apprentice. Apprentices can be new employees to your organisation, or they can be people already employed by you who wish to upskill and increase their career prospects within your company. Their age and current position within the company is immaterial to whether they can be an apprenticeship and whether you can use your apprenticeship levy funds to finance their training. In fact, offering higher level and degree level apprenticeships is a great way of reducing staff attrition and encouraging quality employees to build a long term career with your organisation. In doing so, you’ll be creating a steady stream of future leaders which live by the ethics and values of your company.
Either way, if you want to recover the money you’re are now paying into the Apprenticeship Levy scheme there are plenty of apprenticeship standards available. Apprenticeships can typically be split into 4 categories:
- Intermediate level apprenticeships — generally considered to be the same as five GCSE passes.
- Advanced level apprenticeships — generally considered to be the same as two A level passes.
- Higher apprenticeships — can lead to NVQ Level 4 and above, or a foundation degree.
- Degree apprenticeships — these enable apprentices to achieve a full bachelor’s or master’s degree as part of their apprenticeship.
Apprentices are employees just like any others that you have. The difference is that they are in formally recognised training at the same time as working for you. Above all, a qualifying candidate will need to be over the age of 16, be eligible to live and work in the UK and demonstrate they meet the basic skills entry criteria for the qualification. As the employer you’ll authorise the use of the apprenticeship levy you have paid (via your DAS – Digital Apprenticeship Service – account) to finance the cost of their training.
Here at the London College of Apprenticeship Training we have a pool of ambitious and motivated apprentice candidates that we can offer to your business. We can equally advise you on how to create an apprenticeship programme that provides new skills to your current workforce. Outside of this, we also provide free advice and can even create an apprenticeship levy blueprint to help get your apprenticeship programme off to the very best possible start. If you would like to know more, visit our website or contact one of the team today for more information on 020 3651 4747.