BFA commits to the development of Training and Apprenticeships in 2017

A commitment to supporting and helping to develop UK Footwear manufacturers is at the heart of the British Footwear Association strategy for the New Year and beyond. 2017 will see the BFA focus on the provision of new footwear training programmes and other training led initiatives that will ensure your existing and future employees have access to the knowledge and skills they need to ensure the continued growth and success of the UK footwear sector.

The UK government is also committed to

significantly increasing the quantity and quality of apprenticeships in England and thus a new apprenticeship training levy will be introduced in April 2017, payable by all companies with payrolls of £3m per annum and above. The funds generated will be used to pay for accredited UK apprenticeship schemes. Smaller companies who do not pay the levy will also be able to apply for 90% funding from the government to access approved apprenticeships.

As representatives of the footwear industry, the BFA

continues to help coordinate the footwear Trailblazer group, made up of 17 key footwear manufacturing members, and is nearing completion of a new, industry lead, footwear apprenticeship standard. This will go to the government for sign off in the New Year to become the official Level 2 Shoemakers Apprenticeship. Importantly, this standard will be the only route recognised by the UK government for our core footwear manufacturing members to reclaim levy funds against high quality shoemaking apprenticeship training.

For non-manufacturing companies the BFA will

also assist in identifying other apprenticeships (e.g. in logistics, digital marketing, merchandising, management and leadership etc.) that are relevant to businesses and employees and that will be eligible for levy funding support.

As part of the process the BFA is also working to set

up a vital network of training providers and assessors to ensure the shoemaker standard is deliverable nationally and that the quality of attainment is measured to required, consistent accredited standards.

We understand that this is a complex area to

navigate for most companies and as such, the BFA is also committed to providing the level of knowledge, support and professional guidance you will require.

6 • FOOTWEAR TODAY • JANUARY 2017 John Saunders, CEO British Footwear Association.

The BFA Board of Directors is made up of representatives from across the footwear industry:

Daniel Gyves – Chairman of the Board – Daniel Gyves Consulting John Saunders – CEO BFA Daniel Rubin – Dune Group Mike Watson-Smith – Dr. Martens William Church – Cheaney Robert Perkins – Hotter Ken Gray – T&A Tim Cooper – Oliver Sweeney Vanessa Podmore - Burberry

To support you further, we will increase our in-house resource and specific expertise in this area as we move forward into 2017.

The provision of industry training is set to become a

key part of the UK economic strategy in 2017 and beyond. It has been shown that as a direct effect of providing relevant quality training and apprenticeships, companies become more attractive, employees are happier and more fulfilled and thus employers experience a tangible improvement in the products and services they supply.

The BFA and its Board of Directors will work with our

membership to invest in the future skills of the whole workforce and to provide the UK footwear industry with high quality career training.

Please contact John Saunders: john.saunders@britishfootwearassociation, if you have specific questions or require more information.

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