Are you making use of apprentices to grow your business? 37 per cent of businesses say apprentices will be their top source of talent this year according to a poll of more than 2,000 senior HR professionals.
The poll, conducted by Alexander Mann Solutions, followed the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017. The levy was designed to boost the number of young people going into vocational training.
Previous research by the same organisation revealed that 71 per cent of senior HR leaders are of the opinion that the Apprenticeship Levy will create a new route into the workplace and that it will effectively supplement or even rival the intake of graduates.
Sandrine Miller, head of emerging talent consulting at Alexander Mann Solutions, says, ‘As these findings suggest, leaders are certainly reassessing where they source fresh talent. And while graduates remain the preferred choice for the highest percentage of businesses, there are signs that the tide is shifting.’
University Applications Down, Apprenticeships Up?
Miller also comments that UCAS has reported that university applications have declined by 4 per cent. ‘While there will always be demand for graduate-level talent, HR Leaders are increasingly considering the benefits of developing talent in house, where the role allows, as part of a wider total workforce strategy,’ she says.
Reports would suggest that new apprenticeship starts have actually reduced by as much as 59 per cent since the Apprenticeship Levy came into force. Miller however believes that this is most likely due to the way businesses are reassessing long-term requirements, taking the time they need to plan and implement new programmes. In other words she says, ‘It’s the calm before the storm.’
The Apprenticeship Levy
The Apprenticeship Levy came into force on 1 April 2017, replacing all taxpayer funding for apprenticeships for companies of all sizes. 0.5 per cent of an employer’s wage bill goes towards the levy, although there is an offset allowance of £15,000 equating to 0.5 per cent of a £3 million wage bill. This means that all employers with a wage bill greater than £3 million will be subject to the levy.
If you are unsure as to how apprentices could benefit your business or need advice on how the Apprenticeship Levy works, why not seek advice from your local bookkeepers?