UK Apprenticeship Levy: Challenge or Opportunity?
On 6 April the UK’s first ever Apprenticeship Levy comes into force, meaning 22,000 businesses will be liable to pay 0.5 per cent of their annual wage bill into a new fund. ABM UK is embracing the Levy's introduction as an opportunity to create jobs and 'upskill' talent.
On 6 April 2017, the UK’s first ever Apprenticeship Levy officially comes into force, meaning 22,000 businesses will be liable to pay 0.5 per cent of their annual wage bill into the fund.
The government aims to generate £3 billion a year which will be used for training three million people in private and public sector businesses by 2020.
The Levy should represent good news for employees, however, a third (precisely 33 per cent) of businesses have indicated in surveys that they are confused about its implications; with almost a quarter (23 per cent) of managers responsible for overseeing apprenticeships at their organisations indicating they are unaware of it entirely.
Equally, there is a widely-held belief that the Levy will only fund roles for new apprentices when, in reality, it will also create new opportunity for existing employees to upskill.
Leading facilities management services provider ABM UK is embracing the introduction of the Levy and its investment of over half a million pounds in year one as a real opportunity to bolster its workforce with new and existing highly-skilled employees.
ABM UK group managing director, Andy Donnell, comments: “We don't see the Apprenticeship Levy as a challenge; we see it as a great opportunity to develop our people. In a way, we already feel one step ahead, as the training infrastructure we currently have in place is established and comprehensive. For us, the Levy feels like a natural extension and progression to the training that we're already providing our staff with.
“This is a real chance for us to balance the training equilibrium with people at every level. It will allow us to invest in some of the people who historically haven't been invested in, and to upskill and develop their talents. For us, this is just as exciting as helping to bring new people into the industry.”
ABM UK believes that the Apprenticeship Levy will help its staff progress their careers faster, which in turn will leave more opportunities for new talent to establish.
Having already appointed Jigsaw Training as its official training provider, ABM UK is ahead of the curve when it comes to embracing this new focus. With over 5,500 staff in the UK, ABM UK aims to offer approximately 120 apprenticeships in year one.
The company has also compiled the following summary of key facts about the Apprenticeship Levy as an aide for employees and other employers:
1. The Levy is a tax on employers, which will fund apprenticeships and training.
2. It aims to address the worsening skills gaps in the UK workforce.
3. By increase the quality of apprenticeships, the government hopes to make them a viable alternative to university.
4. Employers with an annual wage bill in excess of £3 million will be liable to pay 0.5% of their pay bill into the levy fund.
5. It will apply to businesses across all sectors, both public and private.
6. Approximately 22,000 UK businesses will be affected.
7. It’s not just for the new apprentices; training is also available to existing staff.
8. The Apprenticeship Levy will generate £3 billion per year.
9. The ambition is to train three million people by 2020.
10. The Apprenticeship Levy officially comes into force on Thursday 6 April 2017.