Apprenticeships must rise above latest government figures

Apprenticeships can be one of the most important investments your company will ever make. They deliver real benefits to both businesses and learners, and are one of the most efficient and cost effective ways of developing your workforce and improving your bottom line.

At a broader level, the very real possibility of the free movement of labour coming to an end after Brexit, means skills gaps in the UK are likely to widen further. With talent shortages presenting a significant problem for industry, apprenticeships are the ideal solution and the most effective way to invest in and retain home-grown talent. Evidence shows that at least 75% of all apprentices stay with their employer at the end of their apprenticeship.

But the benefits go way beyond talent recruitment and retention. With many apprenticeship programmes focusing on operational efficiency and improvement techniques, businesses are benefiting from leaner working, larger profit margins and increased customer satisfaction.

Six figure savings

Take Grupo Antolin for example. Issues with outside storage were leading to workflow inefficiencies, additional storage costs and health and safety issues. Prior to the implementation of their BIT (Business Improvement Techniques) apprenticeship programme, associated costs were running at £308K per annum. However, since implementing their apprenticeships programme, overall annual cost savings have reached £192K in year 1, rising to £254K in years 2-5.

With figures like that apprenticeships are the proverbial no-brainer. And we’re seeing substantial cost savings and efficiencies across all of our client businesses. Yet, recent figures from the Department for Education show a sharp fall – 59% – in the number of apprentices since the introduction of the government’s levy scheme earlier this year. At the end of this academic year, between May and July, 48,000 people began an apprenticeship, less than half the 117,000 for the same period last year.

Why is that? There are a number of theories out there and much criticism from industry at the confusion the levy has caused many businesses. We know from experience that many large employers are still trying to figure out how the whole levy system works, and accessing the funds needed to deliver apprenticeships within their business is a struggle.

But there is help available. Companies like ours can provide the advice and support to help larger businesses implement an apprenticeship solution that is the perfect fit and really delivers.

We strongly believe that once employers have gained more understanding of the levy scheme and put their business plans in place, then we’ll start to see the number of apprenticeships rising again. If we’re right, then this should help in building up a strong skills supply – vital for our economy in post-Brexit Britain.

Find out more

Cidori helps businesses make the most from their Apprenticeship Levy from funding advice and consultation, to developing bespoke Apprenticeship programmes delivered in partnership with outstanding-rated learning and skills provider and RoTAP accredited Gateshead College.

For a no-obligation conversation please contact:
 

Pam Fitton
07971 866242

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