According to a 2016 report by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, organisations are facing a major skills shortage and it’s not only the big industrial sectors that are struggling. While part of the skills gap is a shortage of people skilled in STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) areas, management and soft skills are also lacking, and these affect every employer, whatever their size or field.
Employers need to think to the future and make sure they’re developing higher skills in the workplace, and this is where the apprenticeship levy, and the introduction of new degree apprenticeships, comes in.
From 6 April 2017, UK organisations with an annual pay bill of over £3 million will have to spend 0.5% of their pay bill on the levy. It’s easy to get caught up in the cost and the effect of the levy on the bottom line – but, if used correctly, the opportunities it offers employers far outweigh the cost.
Contributions are designed to be recouped through your organisation’s ‘levy pot’ to train apprentices and boost skills. If you haven’t yet considered how your organisation could use its levy pot, now is the time. If you wait too long, you risk losing access to some of the funds and missing out on a vital opportunity to bring higher skills into your business.
So how can you best take advantage of the levy?