When the UK government introduced the apprenticeship levy in April 2017, it also introduced changes to apprenticeships themselves. According to the chief executive of Skills for Security, Peter Sherry, many organisations have yet to fully comprehend these changes and, as a result, are not getting the most from their fund.
“Quite a few things changed with the introduction of the levy,” says Sherry. “For example, any restriction on age was removed – a single thing that can transform how organisations use their fund.”
Other factors are also in play, says Sherry. For example, apprenticeships can start all year round, and yet many people think that there are specific annual term-times. And, while organisations can’t use their levy fund to simply pay for training, they can establish their own academy to provide apprenticeships. “It’s something we help certain organisations with,” says Sherry. “It’s regulated and has to operate within the law, but it can help either large organisations or those with highly specialised needs to take control of more of their levy fund. They can even provide apprenticeships to a peer company, establishing a new income stream.”
Peter Sherry has written a brief guide for organisations, called ‘1, 2, 3 – go! – three steps to transforming your organisation’s approach to apprenticeships’. The guide is available to download, free, from the Skills for Security website.
“Businesses pay a lot of money into their levy account,” says Sherry, “and some feel they’re not getting enough value from it. This doesn’t have to be the case. With help and advice from us, we can help them make the most of that fund.”