The Apprenticeship Management Group have announced plans to expand their portfolio to non apprenticeship levy payers.
In a new initiative the group, based in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, currently look after large levy paying organisations, are encouraging smaller businesses to make the most of these opportunities. Through this new initiative the government and Educational 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; something they say will open up apprenticeships, making it “a level playing field for all,” .
“‘Only business leaders that know how simple and straight forward 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,” explained Apprenticeship Management Group director John Henry.
“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 SME’s wishing to access higher level training for existing colleagues. Training is available for all from board members through MBA’s and to your newest recruits, either free or with a very small contribution,” John added.
“SME employers that do not pay the levy will pay just five percent 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,” John added.
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.
John said of this: “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 c£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.