Tag Apprenticeship

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Six Ways Employers Can Use the Apprenticeship Levy to Their Advantage

Don’t let the word “levy” put you off apprenticeships. You can use them to benefit your business. That just 13 per cent of the Government’s apprenticeship budget was spent last year means that thousands of employers are missing out.

 

You might need new skills to grow your service offering or you might be worried about who’s going to replace your current managers as they retire. Apprenticeships can provide the solutions to these challenges.

 

Here are five ways employers can use the Apprenticeship Levy to their advantage:

 

  1. Use the Government’s co-investment rate if you’re not a levy-paying business. Here the Government will pay 95 per cent of the training and assessment costs.

 

  1. If you employ a 16 to 18-year-old, you will receive a £1,000 grant, and for businesses that employ fewer than 50 staff that take on a 16 to 18-year-old apprentice, the Government will fund 100 per cent of the training costs.

 

  1. Apprenticeship rules state that 20 per cent of an apprentice’s time should be spent on “off-the-job” training. Don’t let this put you off. This time doesn’t have to be spent off-site in a classroom. In fact it can cover a range of activities such as practical training, theory-based learning and special assignments.

 

  1. Consider the skills line managers and leaders may need to manage apprentices effectively. Skills such as coaching and mentoring are fundamental to making a successful apprenticeship, but other skills such as developing confidence and resilience in apprentices are important and will mean the difference between your apprentices adding substantial value to your business or being a burden on resources.

 

  1. You can use apprentices to spot and develop future leaders for your business. This also applies to existing staff, as remember the Apprenticeship Levy funds can be used for training people of all ages. For career starters you can expose them to different functions of your business to give them the broad understanding that leaders need, and for existing staff you can leadership qualifications.

 

  1. Use apprenticeships as a tool for workforce planning. You’ll need to consider what skills your apprentices will need as they progress – so setting milestones and timelines is important for levy payers.

 

To find out more about what the Apprenticeship Levy means for your businesses and how to take advantage of it, contact NCG’s specialist team on 0191 200 4800 and info@ncgrp.co.uk.

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Kidderminster College wins top award

A Kidderminster College administration apprentice, Kathleen Sandford, from The Community Housing Group (TCHG) in Kidderminster, seized the top award at the National Apprenticeship Service Awards, held in London.

To qualify for the award, she had to win the West Midlands regional award in November 2015 and then beat 11 other regional finalists to achieve National Intermediate Apprentice of the Year.

In addition, for the third year running, TCHG has been recognised as one of the UK’s Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers.  The list is compiled annually by the National Apprenticeship Service and recognises excellence in businesses that employ apprentices.

It’s been an outstanding two weeks for Kathleen who attended a celebration event at 10 Downing Street with Prime Minister, David Cameron, to recognise the value of apprenticeships.

Kathleen commented: “I decided to go down the apprenticeship route because I wanted to start a career where I could learn on the job.  I never thought that eventually it would lead to me winning a national award and visiting No.10.  I feel very fortunate to have had such an opportunity.”

Marina Banner, Executive Director of Vestia Community Trust and TCHG Corporate Services, commented: “We are extremely proud of Kathleen’s achievement. She is an inspiration to our existing apprentices and we hope this will encourage other young people to consider apprenticeships for their future career path.   We really value apprenticeships.  Apprentices bring  ideas, enthusiasm and determination and we believe that they make a positive contribution towards the future growth and development of our organisation”

Jennie Short, Head of Department at Kidderminster College said ‘We were absolutely delighted to hear of Kathleen’s success at the National Apprenticeship Awards. It is fantastic that a Kidderminster College apprentice has been recognised nationally for their talent and commitment, along with the significant contribution that they have made to their workplace. It just goes to show where an Apprenticeship can take you and the opportunities it can open up, alongside proof that apprentices really can make a difference to business.’

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