Apprenticeship Levy - Changing a burden into a benefit

Many organisations have put the Government's Apprenticeship Levy in the ‘too difficult’ box, and plan to write it off as just another tax liability. Chief Executive of Brathay, Godfrey Owen, argues against this way of thinking.

Did you hear the one about the FD that asked the Head of L&D for a strategy meeting?

He wanted to talk about the Apprenticeship Levy….

With global, regional and national politics causing UK business leaders to reach for their crystal ball, and more practically, to ensure that their balance sheets are as protected as possible against the uncertainty of the future, the Government has heaped additional burdens on organisations with more ‘tax’ (aka the Apprenticeship Levy).

Many organisations have put it in the ‘too difficult’ box, and plan to write off the Levy as just another tax liability. Others are hoping the late implementation of the workings of the scheme will mean that the Government will have to delay the scheme for a year, but with an expected £3 billion annually heading for the Treasury, that has to be a vain hope.

Back to the conversation between the FD and the Head of L&D; the FD wants to cut the training budget to offset the Levy liability; what should our L&D champion do in the face of the inevitable?

The challenge is to convince the FD that they have a great opportunity for L&D to invest in the business for the long term, without impact on the budget in the short term;

We would recommend that employers start to look at recruiting apprentices straight away, and to look at how apprenticeships can support the development of existing staff as part of a talent management strategy.

Our research shows that employers’ biggest perceived barriers are the time and administrative costs associated with employing apprentices. This is a concern, but at Brathay we have been working with partners to develop the knowledge and experience to make the introduction of the apprenticeships, funded by the levy, as painless and beneficial as possible for our clients.

Further guidance has just been released and all would-be apprentice training providers are in the registration process at the moment. The Government is wanting to change the landscape of provision; Brathay is seeking to become a Main Provider, enabling us to offer a strong portfolio of apprenticeships with skills and knowledge being supported by Brathay’s well established ‘Enhanced Apprenticeship’ model.

If apprenticeships are not something you had considered for your business, start to look into it.

After all, they are vital to the future and development of your industry. Brathay can support you to achieve a new generation of staff who will repay the investment. You may even impress the FD! 

To discuss how you can maximise the development of your people, and the resource provided by the apprenticeship levy, please contact me at Brathay

Please also see our news and views on apprenticeships and read our Apprenticeship Levy guide