Why I LOVE the Apprenticeship Levy

The Apprenticeship Levy was announced in the 2015 Summer Budget by then Chancellor George Osborne. The Levy represents a fundamental change in the way that Apprenticeships are funded in England. From Spring 2017 all businesses with a payroll over £3 million per year started paying a 0.5% Levy that will fund apprenticeship training in England.

The Levy has received a lot of negative press, but I have a different take on the Levy.

I LOVE it!

The Levy has opened doors to some of the biggest companies having to take a serious look at their investment in their talent pipeline using their Levy pot. It has given opportunities in businesses that simply would not have existed if the Levy had not been introduced.

In almost all the meetings that I have had with businesses paying the Levy someone has said

“Why weren’t we investing in apprentices before?”

And now these businesses have got apprentices working in their HR, Finance, Sales, Development, IT and Marketing teams, the managers there have realised what a godsend apprenticeships are not just for the young people in the roles but for the company’s culture as a whole.

Apprentices bring their own energy to businesses and an alternate point of view.  Many apprentices are from a diverse background that Levy Businesses have struggled to effectively recruit from in the past. Managers also feel the positive effect of the feedback loop of management, giving them a new purpose and realisation of why they get into management in the first place.

The Levy has also shown me how some businesses simply do not live their values or missions. As much as they might extol the virtues of diversity and inclusion they actually see the Levy and having to invest in young people through apprenticeships as a hassle and a hindrance. Some people it seems to love talking about diversity but simply don’t take action on it.

The Levy has created a buzz around the apprenticeship model with more parents and young people inquiring to us about apprenticeships and we have seen an overall increase in apprenticeship applications.

This means we get more opportunities to have a significant impact on the development of more young people. More young people will understand what we think makes an AWESOME Apprentice:

“Energy, Enthusiasm, Willingness to Learn, Ability to take Feedback, Propensity to Take Action”

I would love to hear your thoughts on the Levy and apprenticeships in general. If you are interested in finding out how your business could invest in developing talent through an apprenticeship please visit LDNGrp.co or drop me an email james@ldngrp.co and we can setup a conversation.

James O’Donnell