Smart businesses, and we know a few, are commercialising their Apprenticeship Levy and seeing their bottom line grow. Used well, the Levy can be a hugely profitable opportunity.
When we hear of businesses writing their Levy off as tax, because they are frustrated by their efforts to make it work, we’ll admit, we want to cry a little. Because we know these businesses are missing out on the chance to grow their Levy pot and increase their profit margin.
Companies like our client Lear will soon start to see substantial savings through smart investment of their Levy.
Less than six weeks into our Levy-funded BIT apprenticeships programme with this global automotive manufacturer, Lear is already enjoying a significant increase in staff engagement and morale. Numerous business improvement suggestions have been received by the management team – many of which will deliver tangible financial gains.
“The vision is to engage our employees with fresh and new experiences by creating strong teams and developing individuals effectively. Our partnership with CIDORI allows us to deliver an integrated learning and development function and work together to achieve this vision in an extremely beneficial way.” Adam Ford, Continuous Improvement Manager, Lear Coventry
David Willets of the Open University wrote an article in Personnel Today recently in response to news that the Levy had caused a huge drop in new apprenticeships. In the article he states that the Levy is too often being written off as a personnel tax, rather than being seen as an investment: one that increases skills, helps retain and progress staff, and ultimately boosts profits.
Not just for newbies
But, as Willets points out, recent research by the Open University is also showing that many companies have an outdated view of apprenticeships, which might also be part of the problem. Many are seeing it as training for the youngest and most junior staff, straight out of school or college.
The new apprenticeships standards however, offer opportunities for retraining staff at all levels. The levy provides employers with the ability to take advantage of lifelong learning, developing the skills they need within their existing workforce.
And given the current economic environment, there has never been a greater need for companies to shift their focus to becoming learning organisations; agile and adaptable, constantly transforming themselves and their staff to manage changing market conditions, retain and develop efficient workforces, and keep profits up.
Our client Veka for example, invested heavily in their BIT apprenticeship programme and has enjoyed numerous beneficial outcomes as a result. Workforce performance has improved and significant cost reductions have been achieved – annual savings of £1.73m (costed by Veka) and further potential to save £580k per annum in project related savings.
The recent demise of Toys R Us is a harsh reminder of the increasingly tough conditions for retail and manufacturing businesses. Some press speculation is that Toys R Us’ demise is partly due to Levy as a tax burden. But we know that is a very narrow view of the picture. Today’s incredibly tough retail environment is making it difficult for even the strongest brands to keep their heads above water.
Albatross, what albatross?
In short, we feel there’s a real danger that the Levy is becoming a corporate albatross – an unnecessary burden on business, weighing down profit margins and disabling growth. But it really couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s time for the Levy’s bad press to stop.
The facts speak for themselves. Our clients are transforming operational efficiency, recruiting and retaining the best staff, and making massive savings through smart use of their Levy.
And believe us, it’s not difficult either. With the right planning, the Levy can align to your existing learning and development frameworks but make them leaner, more effective and more cost efficient. Companies like Cidori are helping businesses do this, every day. We could help yours too.
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.
Utilising your Levy we can help you achieve huge returns for your business by:
- helping you attract, recruit and retain the best staff, especially at entry level where demand is highest
- designing and delivering Business Improvement Training programmes to increase workplace efficiency
- saving you thousands per individual worker on training and release time
- offering essential training through our accredited partner Gateshead College, e.g. English Language skills (ESOL) for migrant workers
- funding all of this through an increased Levy pot, attracting additional income streams
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