Page 29

Well Connected

29 WINTER 2016 APPRENTICESHIPS Five Reasons why Employers’ Involvement with Apprenticeships is set to soar Gareth Jones, Apprenticeship Strategy Manager, GMLPF The issuing of government’s final guidance on apprenticeship reforms at the end of October heralded the end of a three-year process of consultation. During this time, the government has been aiming to make apprenticeships more “rigorous and responsive to employer needs” and in essence put funding into their hands. There has been plenty of criticism of the government’s plans including concern about employers’ potential reluctance to pay for training that was previously funded, and whether they would be happy to take on the inevitable administrative responsibilities. These concerns led many to initially fear that the trend of rising Apprenticeship numbers would take a nose dive. However, the original reform plans presented by Government in October 2013 have been reviewed, modified and enhanced, and the wider educational and economic landscape has altered in such a way that now quite the opposite is possible. At GMLPF, we believe the country could be set to see a soar in the number of employers getting involved with Apprenticeships, and here are the reasons why: 1: Most Employers will still receive apprenticeship funding The new apprenticeship levy, which has been set at 0.5 per cent of an employer’s total wage bill, will be charged from April 2017. However, only employers with £3m wage bill will be subject to the levy with the rest being asked to make a contribution of 10 per cent. This means that the vast majority (98.3 per cent) will still receive government funding for apprenticeships. Government will fund 100 per cent of costs of training apprentices aged 16 to 18 recruited by employers with less than 50 staff. And employers will get an extra £1000 for every 16 to 18 year old apprentice they recruit. 2: Simplification of Funding Contrary to early predictions that employers would be put off by the complexities of dealing directly with public funding, the government has simplified processes so employers can easily pay for and receive funding, and see clearly what training they are paying for via an online account on the Digital Apprenticeships Service (DAS) if they are a levy payer or direct to their chosen training provider in other cases 3: More School Leavers are starting to consider apprenticeships More aspirational and capable young people than ever are considering apprenticeships as an alternative to university. This is due to the double whammy of the costs now associated with higher education and the number of unemployed graduates without work experience. More pupils are now choosing apprenticeships instead of or after A-levels as a more secure route into employment. University does not become a closed door to these young people as more higher educational establishments accept apprenticeships as a route to a degree. So in order to access the best young talent, more employers will start looking to apprenticeships as a recruitment platform rather than university milk rounds. Degree apprenticeships also offer young people the option of gaining a degree, with no debt whilst earning a salary with many top UK employers. 4: Less restrictions on who can do apprenticeships Restrictions on who can access training via apprenticeships have been lifted which means those with higher level qualifications, e.g. degrees can now retrain through apprenticeships. This means employers can develop existing staff in new or enhanced roles for the benefit of the business. 5: Better Quality Training The quality of apprenticeships training will continue to rise with the introduction of the new Register of Apprenticeships Training Providers. This register is designed to drive transparency in apprenticeships providers’ success and satisfaction rates, enabling employers to choose the most effective partners to support their recruitment and skills development. As apprenticeships grow, GMLPF is expecting that many of its members, the apprenticeships providers of Liverpool City Region, will see an increase in employers approaching them for apprenticeships provision. Young Chamber Schools Connect with Business to Help Students Prepare for Work Two Young Chamber Member schools recently took part in Mock Interviews events which saw businesses from across the Liverpool City region taking part to interview students and feed-back to them in preparation for them entering the world of work. Students from Archbishop Blanch and Sacred Heart schools were praised by local employers when they took part in mock interviews organised with the support of the Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce. The events were delivered as part of the Young Chamber Plus membership package which supports schools in forging links with local employers, introducing a variety of authentic activities which will assist students in preparing for and successfully accessing the future labour market. At Archbishop Blanch, more than 100 Year 11 students were interviewed by employers from across a range of business sectors. Staff from HMRC, Courtney Reed Group, Evolve Consultancy, Base Communications, M&Y Maintenance and Construction, HR Department and C4P management Solutions were impressed by the professionalism of many of the students , the high standard of their personal presentation and the extent to which they had prepared for the event. Michelle Helsby of Evolve Consultancy said of her part in the day “I think we are very lucky to have such brilliant young people preparing to enter the workplace. It’s great to be invited along to such an inspiring event and to help students to start practising for interviews they are sure to have in the future. I intend to continue to support those students who have asked me to make links for them and I wish all of the students great success in their future careers”. Sacred Heart Catholic College selected students from years 12 and 13 to take part in their Mock Interview day and welcomed staff from a total of six businesses including Kaplan, The Venue at the Royal Liver Building and Fazenda. Students submitted application forms prior to being interviewed and received feed-back from employers on their performance on the day along with hints and tips for the future. Laura Baker, Head of 6th Form at the school thanked Liverpool & Sefton Chamber of Commerce for their help with the event adding ‘the students really enjoyed the opportunity that they had and we are very grateful to the employers for taking the time out of their busy schedules to do this’. Young Chamber Membership now includes six schools from across the Liverpool City Region. This includes Academy of Saint Frances of Assisi, Enterprise South Liverpool Academy, Calderstones School and Birkdale High School as well as those featured in this article. If you would like to get involved in supporting Young Chamber schools please contact Joyce Youds at joyce.youds@liverpoolchamber.org.uk


Well Connected
To see the actual publication please follow the link above