A recent poll of People Management readers indicated half of businesses were intending to leave some or all of this first round of apprenticeship levy funds unused. In fact, employers have used just 10 per cent of their first-year funds. Unclaimed funds go to the Treasury!
On top of this, many businesses are having problems accessing the funds in a way that is meaningful to their business. The CBI is among organisations calling for the scheme’s reform, and Ofsted has warned against the re-badging of management schemes as employers find ways to regain their investment.
Sounds like the “same old story” in that Government take a good idea and turn it into a bad one BUT is the Apprenticeship Levy such a bad thing?
The apprenticeship levy is an investment that has been proven to give a return on investment. AAT found on average businesses receive a £2,000 boost to their bottom line for every apprentice they hire, even after factoring in wages and training costs (ww.aat.org.uk/apprenticeships/employers/why-great-for-business).
Separately, the Centre for Economic and Business Research found that each apprentice hired delivers on average £10,300 in productivity gains per year (www.cebr.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/The-Benefits-of-Apprenticeships-to-Businesses.pdf).
In a recent government survey of employers that have taken on apprentices, 97 per cent (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/659710/Apprenticeships_evaluation_2017_employers.pdf) said they were good value for money.
The same survey found nine out of ten reported an increase in productivity, and the vast majority said apprentices developed the skills needed by their organisations. There were also some unexpected findings – 80 per cent said they saw an improvement in staff morale, and three quarters said apprentices improved their product or service.
As a result, an overwhelming 96 per cent said they planned to hire more apprentices.
Come back tomorrow to find out how the Levy can work for you..