This week, we have had the very surprising announcement that there will be a General Election on 8th June 2017. As well as this being important for the country, it is also important for Apprenticeships. This month has already seen the launch of the Apprenticeship Levy and businesses who have an annual salary and wage bill of over £3 million will have started to pay it.
Next month sees the new delivery models for apprenticeships and Apprenticeship standards are still being developed and released.
Yorkshire Apprentice Election Thoughts
We are confident that all parties will continue to make apprenticeships are the cornerstone of their training and education policies. Obviously, we will have to wait for the publication of each parties manifesto to understand what they will consider doing. It would though take some bravery, by any party, to reduce the target of starting 3 million new apprentices by the year 2020 as this has become so entrenched in policy that it would be difficult to reverse. We do know that the current government has an ambition to introduce T Levels in 2019. These are the technical equivalent of A Levels and they look like they may replace some of the existing programmes available to apprentices. Interestingly, the ability for training providers to now deliver apprenticeships to graduates has been a huge change and we have been considering how many graduate programmes might now morph into apprenticeship programmes.
What should businesses do now?
Our advice is to drive forward with your plans for apprenticeships in your organisations. If you have just started paying the Levy then you will see your first payment in your digital account in May. Consider how you are going to use these funds. What type of framework or standards is relevant to your business? Are you recruiting an apprentice or upskilling existing staff? Who is delivering your apprenticeships? If you are a non-levy business do you know how to find the right provider? Do you know what funding is available to you?
All will become clearer once we have some manifestos to read and also once the election is over – time will tell..
If you would like more information or guidance about apprenticeships in your business then please contact the team at Yorkshire Apprentice