Since its announcement in the November 2015 Spending Review and Autumn Statement, the Apprenticeships Levy has received some negative sentiment in the press.
That, coupled with the fact that in Wales we are operating in a devolved nation and we have our own apprenticeship approach, it’s no wonder that only 24% of Welsh businesses surveyed understand the Apprenticeship Levy.
Yes, the Apprenticeship Levy is a tax, but unlike other business taxes employers can use the Levy for their own training needs and really drive our provision into the next chapter of becoming more employer-led. Yet, we are relying on employers coming forward and telling us what they want in return.
Wales has one of the highest performing apprenticeship provisions in the UK. Research shows that we have an overall success rate of 85% compared to 68.9% overall in England and we should not let the Levy negatively affect this. Instead we should be using it to our advantage and allowing employers to guide the way. We have the upper hand in Wales in that we don’t have to navigate the digital credit scheme and calculate how much provision we can ‘buy’ as our current all-age, fully-funded system still stands.
So my one bit of advice to you is to contact your local training provider to start these conversations. Find out exactly what the Levy means to you, your business, your staff and how you can use it to your advantage. You have the power to instruct training providers on what you want in return for the money you have put in to the Levy.