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The Apprenticeship Levy: What Do You Need to Know?

The apprenticeship levy has been in place since April 2017. But if you’ve not taken on any apprentices since then, you might not understand how it could benefit you. It’s a fantastic way to reduce the costs of training staff, which is an important aspect of running a business.

There’s much more to the apprenticeship levy than simply providing the necessary finance. Here, we guide you through everything you’ll need to know about it.

What the apprenticeship levy is

The apprenticeship levy provides extra funding for apprenticeship schemes. The idea behind the funding system is to enhance the quality and quantity of apprentices in order to encourage employers to invest in them. Therefore, the way apprenticeships are run has been reformed, and there’s new information you’ll need to know if you decide to take on apprentices in the future.

A levy of 0.5% is applied to UK businesses whose wage bills total over £3million per year, and the government tops the levy up by 10% each month. It’s reported and collected using the PAYE system, and the first £15,000 of these businesses’ wage bill is offset against the levy payment.

Funding for apprentices

Businesses that aren’t required to contribute to the apprenticeship levy can still receive funding help for apprenticeships. ‘Co-investment’ will be implemented – this is where the employer pays 10% of the cost of training and assessment, and the government pays the rest, providing it’s under the funding band maximum (which we will discuss below).

If you choose to take advantage of the apprenticeship levy, you’ll have an apprenticeship service account. This is where the funds will be available for you to spend on the training for apprentices, and it’ll be where the training provider is paid also.

apprentices outside a college steps

Rules around the funding

The apprenticeship levy funds will expire 24 months after they arrive into your account, and they can only be spent on the training and assessment for apprentices working at least 50% of the time in England. The funds can’t be used for other apprentice costs, like wages, travel and subsistence, and work placement programmes.

Only the English apprenticeship system is supported by this levy. If you employ workers both here and outside the country, then the amount of finance available will be dependent on the number of employees living in England, and the proportion of your wage bill that’s paid to these workers.

Funding bands

Funds can only be used up to the funding band maximum for that apprenticeship. If your costs do exceed the funding band maximum, then you’ll be required to pay the difference.

The traditional structure was split into fifteen bands that determined their value. But from 1st August 2018, there is a new band structure with thirty bands that have less increments between them. You can figure out the band for your apprenticeship on the government website.

Choosing an apprenticeship type

One of the reforms to the apprenticeship system is that employer groups called ‘trailblazers’ now have more control over how apprenticeships are handled, instead of it falling to the training providers, colleges and awarding bodies.

They design apprenticeship standards – these are one type of apprenticeship that employers can choose. Every standard covers a specific occupation and sets out the essential skills, knowledge and behaviours necessary. The other type of apprenticeship is frameworks, which are a series of vocational and professional qualifications that relate to work, along with training based in both the workplace and classroom.

an apprentice working on a car as part of the apprenticeship levy scheme

Apprenticeship assistance

The Institute for Apprenticeships helps with the system, overseeing the regulation, design and delivery of the apprenticeships. There’s also the Apprenticeship Service,  which allows you to search the register for approved apprenticeship assessment organisations.

DAS stands for Digital Apprenticeship Service.  This no longer exists, it just called the ‘Apprenticeship service’. Bright Direction Training, for example, is on their registry. For those in the public sector, you’ll be required to abide by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 when choosing a provider.

Selecting a training provider

When you pick your provider, you’ll need to enter into a financial arrangement with them, no matter the size of your business. Ensure you choose one that doesn’t tell you what learning should be involved in the training, allowing you to determine what will work for your business.

This is exactly what Bright Direction Training does. We enable you to design, build and create a course to suit your business, giving you the best chance of providing a successful apprenticeship.

We’re completely flexible to your needs, allowing us to achieve the results you require in sufficient time. With our apprenticeship levy assistance, you can create the future leaders of your business. To find out how we could help your organisation, get in touch with us today.

Award for Personal Licence Holders (APLH) Level 2

Course Overview

Award for Personal Licence Holders (APLH) Level 2

Gain the qualification needed to apply for your Personal Licence in England and Wales and advance your career prospects within the licensed retail sector.

This 1 day course should be taken by anyone who works in a role which requires them to authorise the sale of alcohol to the public (as per the legal requirements):

Designated premises supervisor (DPS)

  • Managers
  • Assistant Managers
  • Supervisors
  • Staff seeking promotion to one of these positions.

Topics covered

These include the nature, purpose and period of validity of a personal licence, the application process and legal duties when applying for a personal licence, the legal duties of a personal licence holder, the roles, responsibilities and functions of licensing authorities, the nature and strength of alcohol and the effect on the body and the law in relation to premises licences.

Who is this qualification for?

This qualification is aimed at individuals working in, or preparing to work in, any industry that involves the retail sale of alcohol. Anyone wishing to sell or authorise the sale of alcohol by retail on licensed premises must hold a personal licence.

How long will it take?

The total qualification time (TQT) for this qualification is 10 hours and of this 8 are recommended as guided learning hours (GLH) so can be delivered in one day.

Assessment method

This qualification is assessed by a multiple-choice examination.

If you are interested and would like to find out more about it, give us a call on 01204 859 859 or fill out our contact form here.

The Importance Of Staff Training

Staff training is immediately dismissed by many companies – there’s not only the consideration of funding for training, but the impact on time too. You want your employees to be getting on with their jobs, rather than learning about something they already know.

But in many cases, a speedy induction for new team members isn’t enough. This can actually lead to more time and money being spent. Staff training is much more important and valuable than you may think. Here, we explore just some of the reasons why.

Providing employees with key skills

Certain skills and knowledge are often necessary for specific careers. If your business is subject to regulatory requirements, such as health and safety, then employees that don’t have the adequate training put your business at risk. The skills and knowledge they’ll gain from staff training will also help them improve within their role, even if they’ve been doing it for a long time

Staff training builds confidence and provides the opportunity to address any weaknesses in team members. This gives them the time to work and improve upon their knowledge gaps. As well as this, with the right set of skills and knowledge, they’ll be less likely to make mistakes. 

A boost for your business

As staff will be better at their roles, they’ll be more efficient too. Stats show that 74% of UK workers feel they aren’t achieving their full potential at work and want to be given more training. With these opportunities for development in place, you’ll find that your organisation is more productive and your workers more fulfilled. This guarantees a return on your investment, and, with a reduced risk of mistakes, will result in more time and funds available to be spent on growing your business.

Your company’s reputation will also improve. Not only will you be providing a better offering, you can demonstrate that you’re meeting specific standards. In this way, staff training can be used as a sales and marketing tool. It may be the deciding factor for some potential clients, giving you a competitive advantage.

Nurturing your staff

Providing your team with training will help them to feel supported within their roles, as well as show that you care about their development. It’ll positively challenge them, making them more likely to stay at the company as they are more enthused and excited by their role. Research shows that those with professional development opportunities are 15% more engaged.

Retention will also be improved as members of the team feel valued. In the same piece of research, it was shown that, when staff can see a clear path of progression ahead of them, a business’ retention rates can increase by 34%. In addition, staff training can attract potential new team members and be advertised as a company benefit.

Bright Direction Training - staff training

Developing future leaders

Employees’ careers will be enhanced by training, and this is often a step towards developing future leaders. As these learning programmes often lead to creativity, they give staff the chance to contribute more to the business within their roles, helping them to grow even further.

Staff training also allows you to identify which members within the organisation’s structure have the capability for increased responsibilities, making promotion decisions easier. Leaders can change the way your business is run for the better, meaning your position within the market will be stronger.

Protecting your business

If something goes wrong because a team member was inadequately trained, the results can be disastrous. This could be anything from an employee injury to complaints from customers, both of which can lead to legal action. The potential cost in both time and money could severely affect the state of your business.

Even seemingly more minor occurrences, like a poor customer service experience, can result in damage to your company’s reputation. Staff training will ensure that they’re fully aware of what their role entails, reducing the likelihood of these situations arising.

Types of training

The types of training you choose will depend on your business’ needs. You might opt for mentoring schemes, which are particularly effective for developing leaders. Your company may be able to offer in-house staff training, or instructor-led lessons could be preferable. The trainer can often visit your premises, which is especially useful when it’s impractical to learn away from the business’ site.

Some training requires individual study, and there’s blended options for a mix of online and classroom learning. Other types of training include on-the-job training (which has been proven to be the most effective), group discussions and activities, role-playing, and simulation exercises.

Funding for training

Even with all the benefits that staff training provides, many are still put off by the price. You can select specific types of training to lower the costs – eLearning is almost always cheaper than using an in-person instructor, though only 15% of businesses found it to be one of the best methods. There is also training that can be done without outside help – allowing senior members of staff to mentor junior employees, for example.

Another way to reduce the cost of staff training is by providing apprenticeships. The Apprenticeship Levy was introduced in April 2017, and helps businesses with funding for training, providing that the employees are apprentices. 83% of those who employ apprentices are reported to rely upon them to deliver the skills necessary for the future of their company.

If you’re considering offering staff training within your business, but don’t have the resources to do it in-house, Bright Direction Training can assist. So far, we’ve helped thousands of learners – from those training in leadership and management to door supervision for premises. Our courses are flexible to a company’s needs – contact us today to discover how we can meet yours.

Looking for training but not sure which courses are right for you or your business?

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