With the new apprenticeship levy now in place, there has been a lot of information surrounding the levy for larger employers. All businesses with a payroll in excess of £3 million are now paying 0.5% of their pay bill which can only be spent on apprenticeship training.
However, with over 95% of Northamptonshire businesses being SME or micro businesses, this means that the vast majority of businesses are not subject to this levy. For these businesses, apprenticeships still represent an excellent way to bring new talent into business or upskill their workforce and there are significant incentives to get involved. Smaller employers only have to contribute 10% of the agreed cost of apprenticeship training with the government funding the remaining 90%, with the contribution completely waived for small businesses (less than 50 employees) who employ a young apprentice (16-18 years old). There is also an additional incentive payment of £1,000 for all employers of young learners to support the additional costs involved with recruiting and supporting a younger apprentice. The government will also fully fund any additional learning support and English and maths training required to support apprenticeship achievement.
There is now no fixed cost for training either; employers are able to negotiate training costs and content with providers up to set funding bands. The upper limit of each funding band will cap the maximum price that government will ‘co-invest’ towards apprenticeship training. Although funding bands range from £1,500 to £27,000 the majority of intermediate apprenticeships will be in the £1,500 to £6,000 band, which would result in a maximum contribution of £600. When considered against the benefit that an apprentice can bring to your business this contribution will soon be recovered in increased productivity and growth.
Apprenticeships are also an excellent way of upskilling existing employees, with exciting new opportunities now available for higher and degree apprenticeships in a range of occupations. So, for those small businesses thinking that employing an apprentice is an expensive route, this shows you can upskill your existing staff or introduce fresh new talent at a very reasonable cost.
Moulton College offers a comprehensive programme of apprenticeships, from intermediate level to higher level, across our specialisms in the land-based and animal welfare sectors and we’re the largest provider of Construction apprenticeships in Northamptonshire. We have been working with local SME and micro-businesses for many years to use apprenticeship training to support business growth and fill skill shortages.
We are delighted to be included on the new Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers and continue to be able to support all sizes of employers to access apprenticeship funds and Moulton’s experienced team of apprenticeship advisors are available to assist with every stage of your apprenticeship journey. We will always work closely with you to ensure that the apprenticeship programme meets your business needs and are continually developing new provision in response to local business demands.
For more information on apprenticeship reform or if you are interested in employing an apprentice, please contact 01604 673575 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.