The Apprenticeship Management Group, which currently looks after large levy paying organisations, is encouraging smaller businesses to make the most of apprenticeship benefits.
The government and Education and Skills Funding Agency has extended its apprenticeship budget to immediately accommodate up to 15,000 new apprenticeship starts from registered non-levy paying employers with more to follow.
Apprenticeship Management Group director John Henry explained, "Only business leaders that know how simple and straightforward it is to access these benefits are securing these advantages for their staff and their trades. The biggest problem with apprenticeships is finding the apprentice; the only barrier to the benefits of funded training at all levels is ignorance of the ease of access.
“The range of new and focused training is available to sales and marketing, procurement, production, logistics, warehouse, transport, IT, finance, HR, the creative and the technically skilled to managers and administrators across the piece. Unfortunately, each non levy payer can only utilise the scheme for a maximum of three apprenticeship funded employees, but this will certainly break the unfairness faced by SMEs wishing to access higher level training for existing colleagues. Training is available for all, from board members through MBAs, and to your newest recruits, either free or with a very small contribution.
“SME employers that do not pay the levy will pay just 5% of the cost of any or all these professional qualifications, and in many cases, save more in incentives than they outlay to access superb providers without restriction."
Unlike public bodies such as the NHS, Armed Forces, Police and Fire as well as local authorities, who are all levy payers and have learnt quickly to take advantage to the extent that they will overspend their levy, the technical and commercial sectors would appear to be unclear as to the opportunities. Something the Apprenticeship Management Group state they can help with.
“We can manage your access to training and to the necessary funding, so it is worth getting in contact. At the entry-level, training with an average cost of £4000-£5000 for 12 -18 months of job-related skills training will cost a business without their own Levy fund a maximum of about £30 per month for a period of 12 months or so. Similarly, degree level training costing up to £27,000 and post-grad career-enhancing qualifications are all funded for employers that engage with these unprecedented opportunities to improve the effectiveness and abilities of their key employees. Again, the employer contribution is no more than £30-£40 per month over the term," added Henry.