Six months into the levy. Is your organisation getting value for money?

If you’re a levy-paying organisation, you’ll already know that you’ve been paying your levy for some time now. Research suggests that so far, the spending patterns of levy payers has been mixed.

Some businesses are going for it; recruiting dedicated apprenticeship managers and seizing the opportunity. Some businesses are biding their time to see how everyone else gets on, and some businesses are taking no action at all and writing it off as a ‘tax’.

In my opinion, the latter option is a real shame and a missed opportunity.

The extent of the apprenticeship reforms are huge and still very misunderstood in terms of the massive impact they have had on all training organisations throughout the UK (including those who currently don’t deliver apprenticeships!) and what can be done – now the changes are in place.

So, as we near the end of 2017, what were the typical teething problems?

When everything changes, massive re-education is required – which is hard when everyone is in the same boat trying to work it all out! Inevitably this led to a lot of misunderstanding and mixed messages.

Many elements still remain misunderstood – for example many levy paying organisations are still unaware that once they have used their levy funds – they automatically attract 90% contribution from the government for subsequent training, which can massively boost their L&D budgets.

For me – the new design format and the eligibility changes are the biggest game changers, which means that all organisations (levy and non levy) can now train all their existing employees – from trainee to leader at a massively discounted rate. (Note the new level 7 MBA’s are about to be approved) and in doing so – should be able to significantly boost individual performance and business productivity.

The online account was daunting and there was little guidance available. It turns out, it’s not that complicated after all!

Thankfully things are now beginning to settle. Businesses that ‘went for it’ back in May – now have apprentices on the new programmes and are paying providers via their digital accounts. And training providers should now be well equipped to advise and support employers how they can best leverage their funds.

If you’re a business that held back on pursuing apprenticeships but continues to pay into the levy, here’s some tips to help you get started and make the most of what’s in your pot!

  • Reach out and network with other businesses already using their levy. Most are willing to share what they’ve learned. We will gladly put you in touch with some of our levy clients. Just ask.
  • Use it or lose it. Your funds will start to leave your account in 18 months’ time from now if you don’t spend them. If you need support accessing or setting up your online account, just get in touch.
  • Many of the new apprenticeships contain valuable qualifications. If you are currently paying commercially for your employees to do qualifications like CIMA, ACCA, AAT, Google Squared, CIPD, ILM or CMI Management Diplomas – then you could be saving a lot of money by moving over to the new apprenticeships which include these qualifications plus many more.

If you have any questions about any of the above please message me on ab@theapprenticeacademy.co.uk or call the office on 0161 200 1673.