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Apprenticeship levy and the new Green Paper Apprenticeship levy

The levy will positively

increase these numbers over time as more business

leaders begin to capitalise on the levy funding, and look to implement apprenticeship schemes within their firms.

currently exists amongst school leavers, universities and graduates. Employers offering Level 7 apprenticeships will be able to recruit from universities, but they will need to educate graduates on, what is in effect, a Masters level apprenticeship. In future, graduates could start to consider apprenticeships as a viable alternative to university.

This shift in attitude is the first step towards revolutionising the workforce, and ultimately we will see a greater diversity in offerings, more schools engagement by employers, greater diversity of candidates and a boost in productivity as a result of more firms offering apprenticeships.

levy as a way of increasing diversity. Working alongside their current graduate programmes some leaders see apprenticeships as a way of tapping into a new talent pool that can boost the skill set of their workforce.

The graduate recruitment sector is also recognising the benefits that apprenticeships can bring; the Association of Graduate Recruitment (AGR) has already reported that 72% of graduate recruiters are increasingly offering opportunities to school leavers, with apprenticeships being the most popular position. The proportion of AGR employers offering apprenticeships is predicted to rise to 52% in the next year and higher apprenticeships to 21%.

The levy will positively increase these numbers over time as more business leaders begin to capitalise on the levy funding, and look to implement apprenticeship schemes within their firms.

Organisations should, and will, be able to use the comparative strength of their graduate brand to attract new types of entry-level talent.

What changes will we see? Since the announcement of the levy, many graduate recruiters have subsequently been tasked with reviewing their organisation’s strategy for

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apprenticeships. By seeking professional advice, they have been able to look at how the levy can affect their firm’s talent strategy as a whole including graduates, apprentices and internal talent development schemes, across all divisions and functions with a view to designing new propositions that are interconnected.

As there is now no age limit to apprenticeships, they are also looking at offering opportunities to employees outside the banner of early career.

Propositions will change. Work experience programmes may be converted to traineeships as a feeder for professional apprenticeships which were previously badged as school leaver programmes. Graduate programmes may be transitioned to Level 7 apprenticeship schemes. Employers may start to offer degree apprenticeships to act as a feeder to internal graduate programmes.

This is likely to impact the already well- established graduate market and the way in which graduate recruiters attract and develop their entry-level talent.

Recruitment challenges Businesses and recruiters face the tough task of changing perceptions and removing the negative stigma surrounding apprenticeships that

Will it work? Overall the levy has the potential to increase not only the number of apprenticeships, but the quality of the training provided. This, combined with the Trailblazer Initiative, will give employers greater ownership and control of apprenticeships programmes to create a scheme that works for them.

The levy does not mean having to make a choice between apprenticeships and other forms of valued workforce training, but it will encourage firms to think more laterally about how to incorporate apprenticeships.

At BPP Professional Apprenticeships, we partner with organisations to create structured apprenticeship and school leaver programmes tailored to individual business needs to recruit, develop and build future talent from within.

Advice to employers:

• Start planning now. Understand the information that is available now and the effect on your business.

• Seek advice from training providers on funding, Trailblazer programmes and apprentice recruitment.

• Keep up-to-date on new announcements from the government on, and ahead of, the confirmed finance bill in the spring.

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