We have been in a few meetings recently with businesses who are paying the Apprenticeship Levy and we have been asked what is the best way for them to implement a successful apprenticeship programme? So we thought it might be useful to provide a short checklist just to get businesses thinking about how they do this. Naturally, we would like businesses to talk to us before diving head first into setting up an apprenticeship programme as this list is just for pointers and there is a lot more to consider.
What is in your apprenticeship levy account?
Businesses have been paying the Levy for about 6 months and you should be seeing some growth in the amount of money that is available for you to spend on apprenticeship programmes. This will give you a baseline from which to start thinking about the volume of delivery that you would like to implement.
Understand your business training requirements
This is the part where you need to figure out what training is being delivered in the business and what areas would benefit from an injection of skills and knowledge. Speak to us about using our skills analysis template.
Identifying the right training provider
This is really important and also a little bit complicated so we work closely with businesses to identify the most suitable training partners. If you do this yourselves you need to think about the providers track record and how they can meet your training needs. Don’t think you have to use just one provider to deliver all of your courses. You can use multiple training partners. There are some fantastic small niche providers.
How big? How small?
Our advice is always to test the water with a pilot project. If you have hundreds of staff don’t try and deliver everything to everyone in one go. Implement a programme for a few committed staff and make sure it is successful. What we tend to find is that other members of staff will see this success and will want a slice of it too. Also, don’t force people onto an apprenticeship programme – the reluctant participant rarely completes and will benefit no one.
Apprenticeship Delivery Analysis
This is a really important part of the delivery of apprenticeships. You will need to ensure that there a is a tangible return on investment for the apprenticeship programmes. Again, speak to Yorkshire Apprentice about our ROI calculator.
Grow the provision
If it is all looking good then expand your programmes. Don’t forget that if your Levy account is looking a little depleted then you can get extra funds through the co-investment option.
There is a fair bit to consider when it comes to introducing an apprenticeship programme, particularly for those businesses who have not previously had them. If you are uncertain or would just like to talk through options then please speak to the team at Yorkshire Apprentice and we will be happy to help.