Employ an Apprentice

Why Employ an Apprentice?

What is an Apprenticeship?

The Apprenticeship scheme is a government-funded programme enabling people of all ages to train whilst they are working. Apprenticeships are nationally recognised qualifications open to anyone aged 16 or over who is not in full-time education. Apprentices can be new or existing employees.

There are over 250 different types of Apprenticeships available offering over 1,400 different job roles within a variety of industry sectors. These range from business admin and engineering to IT and teaching assistants.

At Stratford-upon-Avon College, apprentices usually carry out most of their learning on-the-job at your premises, with additional off-the-job training provided by our dedicated team of teaching staff and assessors.

Our programmes not only provide an invaluable first step on the employment ladder for young people, but are also an effective way to develop existing employee’s skills.

Apprenticeships deliver skills designed around your business needs providing the skilled workers you require for the future. They also help you develop the specialist skills you need to keep pace with the latest technology and working practices in your sector.

Apprentice of the Month

Michelle Hirst and apprentice Jordan Sollis
Ellena Maher (Professional Catering Apprenticeship)
Business Support Apprentice Lauren Preece congratulated by College Principal and CEO Andrew Cropley.
Level 2 Professional Catering Apprentice Charlotte Bailey
Level 2 Engineering Apprentices Sam Cox-Brann, Oliver Stratford and Oliver Parry
Emma Stringman

What are the benefits to your business?

Apprenticeships are a unique way to grow your workforce. The learning takes place in the context of your own business, providing the apprentice with a combination of both practical skills and theoretical knowledge to gain a real understanding of the working world.

Therefore, Apprenticeships offer a career route into your organisation and an invaluable opportunity to grow the skills you need now and for the future.

Motivate your workforce

Apprentices are eager, motivated, flexible and loyal to the organisation that invests in them. Remember, an apprentice is with you because they want to be – they have made an active choice to learn on the job and a commitment to a specific career.

Supporting a training programme for existing employees demonstrates your commitment to staff development and in turn, leads to a more motivated and loyal workforce.

Improve your bottom line

Apprenticeships deliver real returns to your bottom line, with Apprenticeships helping employers to improve productivity and become more competitive.

Training apprentices can also be more cost effective, leading to motivated staff and increased job satisfaction within your workforce. Many employers who invest in an apprentice will rapidly reclaim what they’ve spent as the productivity of the apprentice increases.

Benefits in Numbers

  • A more engaged workforce:

    92% of employers who employ apprentices believe that Apprenticeships lead to better motivated staff and increased job satisfaction. 80% of employers feel that Apprenticeships reduce staff turnover.

  • Increased competitiveness:

    80% of those employers who employ apprentices agree they make their workplace more productive.

  • A better image:

    81% of consumers favour using companies which employ apprentices.

  • Future planning:

    83% of employers rely on their Apprenticeships programme to provide the skilled workers they need for the future.

Our Qualified and Experienced Staff

“Having worked as a Head Chef, I have produced meals for the heads of multinational companies as well as famous faces like the Prince of Wales.”

Bryan Anderson
Bryan AndersonTeam Leader, Work Based Learning - Hospitality & Catering

“I have spent over 15 years in the FE sector both teaching and managing work-based programmes, and have managed key accounts with local authorities and the NHS.”

Stevie Edmund-Jones
Stevie Edmund-JonesHead of Employer Engagement, Work Based Learning

Apprenticeship Levy

In the 2015 Conservative Manifesto, the Government committed to “support 3 million new Apprenticeships, so young people acquire the skills they need to succeed”. This bold commitment to the Apprenticeship programme would mean a major step up in the number of employers taking on Apprenticeships so a major change was needed to make 3 million new Apprenticeships a reality.

This major change is the Apprenticeship Levy, and came into force in April 2017.

Frequently Asked Questions

So what exactly is the levy?

The Levy is a kind of tax on large employers designed to encourage the uptake of Apprenticeships as a way to train and secure future talent. All large employers will be charged the Apprenticeship Levy, but those who embrace the Apprenticeship programme will be able to claim back this spend for the training of their Apprentices.

Unlike many other taxes, all the proceeds from the Levy will be spent solely on Apprenticeships. The money that large companies pay and don’t claim back for their own Apprenticeships, will help fund the Apprenticeships for smaller companies who don’t have the financial resources to invest in training.

Will I have to pay it?

If your company’s payroll bill is £3m or more then you will be liable to pay the Apprenticeships Levy. Companies with payroll under £3m will not have to pay the Levy, but under new funding arrangements they will need to contribute towards the cost of Apprenticeships training. The money raised by the Apprenticeships Levy will be used to financially support smaller businesses with this cost.

How much is the levy?

For companies with a wage bill in excess of £3m, the Apprenticeships Levy will be 0.5% of the wage bill. The charge will be collected directly via PAYE from April 2017. Those companies wanting to use the Levy to fund Apprenticeships will then be able to ‘claim back’ Apprenticeship training costs through a newly formed Digital Apprenticeships Agency.

An estimated £1.8 billion was spent on Apprenticeships in the UK last year. Through the Apprenticeships Levy it is anticipated that this will increase to around £3 billion.

Can I use my contribution to fund apprenticeships?

Yes. The aim of the Apprenticeship Levy is to make it advantageous for all companies to invest in Apprentices and a high quality Apprenticeship programme. If you don’t claim back the Levy money to help fund Apprenticeships for your company, then it will be allocated to other companies to help fund their Apprenticeship provision.

Every penny from the Apprenticeship Levy will be used to fund Apprenticeship training and assessments. Large employers who have already paid the Levy will be able to claim back training costs to get their Apprenticeship training provided – but only if using approved Apprenticeship training providers such as Stratford-upon-Avon College.

Can the levy fund my own internal apprenticeship training programme?

It will be possible for large employers who want to deliver their own Apprenticeship training internally to do so. However, they will need to become an approved provider to ensure that training levels meet the latest Apprenticeship standards. It is expected that the government will be publishing more details on how to become an approved provider later in the year.

What apprenticeships will be funded by the levy?

The Apprenticeship Levy will be used to fund any type of Apprenticeship training programme from an approved provider such as Stratford-upon-Avon College. This includes degree level Apprenticeships. Under the new standards, there will also be no age restriction on Apprenticeship funding. However the government has created additional incentives for employers to take on 16-18 year olds.

What will change if I am a small company?

Smaller companies (under a wage bill of £3million) will not have to directly pay the Apprenticeship Levy.  However, there are still changes to the Apprenticeship funding system for all businesses which will came into place in 2017.

All employers will need to contribute towards the cost of Apprenticeship training.  This will be a one-off contribution of 10% of the total cost of the apprenticeship.

What happens if you spend all your levy contribution?

Businesses who spend more on Apprenticeships than their Levy contribution will be able to request additional funds from the Digital Apprenticeship Service – the department set up to manage Apprenticeship funding. They will contribute to the cost of Apprenticeship training at the same level as small companies.

How can we help you?

As a major supplier of Apprenticeships within Coventry and Warwickshire, we work closely with government agencies to keep ahead of the latest Apprenticeship legislation. This puts us in the perfect position to advise businesses on how best to implement and manage their Apprenticeship programme.

For businesses who are new to Apprenticeships we can take care of everything from the recruitment of suitable candidates, to funding arrangements and provision of all necessary training.

For businesses with an existing Apprenticeship programme we can advise you on how to keep ahead of the changing standards and legislation. Many of the new Trailblazer standards are already available, and we can help you build a training programme which will deliver the skills your business needs.

Want to know more?

Would you like to find out more about what our dedicated Employers Team at Stratford-upon-Avon College can do to help you and your business?

Please contact our team directly by calling 01789 417 414, by emailing hello@stratford.ac.uk or by completing the contact form.

Contact the SUAC Employer Team