Expert advice on Government changes to apprenticeship funding for businesses was given at a free event today (April 12) – hosted by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, and presented by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), and Workpays.
Government officially launched its Apprenticeship Levy on April 6, 2017, as part of the biggest shake-up of skills for a generation.
The Levy will require all UK employers with an annual wages bill of over £3 million to pay 0.5% of it towards funding apprenticeships.
Money will be invested in quality training for apprentices, with the aim of doubling the annual investment in apprenticeships in England to £2.5billion by 2019/20, compared with 2010/11 levels.
The Levy aims to encourage employers to invest in high-quality apprenticeships, ensuring even more people have a chance to reach their full potential.
Generous support will also be provided for smaller employers with an annual pay bill below £3million, who will therefore not required to pay the Levy. The Government will pay 90% of the costs of training and assessing these employers’ apprenticeships.
The Levy will only apply to funding of apprenticeships begun after May 1 (2017). Apprenticeships started before May 1 will be funded under the previous system.
To help businesses navigate through the new Apprenticeship Levy’s rules, D2N2 has funded two free ‘Are you Levywise?’ events; for businesses in the area for which the private-sector led LEP promotes economic and jobs growth (Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire).
The first free event was held at Derbyshire County Cricket Ground on April 3 and the second and final one was held today (April 12), at the Uniper Technologies Ltd Engineering Academy in Ratcliffe-on-Soar.
As with the previous event, today’s delegates heard from a range of experts on what the Levy will mean for businesses, who pays, what Levy funds can be used for and how to take full advantage of the opportunities it offers.
Peter Richardson, Chair of the D2N2 LEP, opened today’s event by stressing the Local Enterprise Partnership’s commitment to developing skills in its area, as a vital ingredient in promoting economic growth.
Recent examples of D2N2 skills promoting activities include:
- Joint funding of the new (opened autumn 2016) West Notts College’s Vision University Centre and the University of Derby Chesterfield campus.
- Investing D2N2’s € 250million European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) in skills and training programmes; including up to £4.7m for the SKILLS Local programme, aiding employers keen to boost employees’ training and skills, and use apprenticeships for career development.
- A £300,000 programme, funded jointly with the Government-backed Careers & Enterprise Company, to establish an Enterprise Adviser network of volunteer business mentors in 80 schools in the LEP’s area, to help pupils get an early introduction to the world of work.
The two Levywise events were sponsored by D2N2 and the Government’s Education and Skills Funding Agency, and coordinated by D2N2 and Workpays Limited. Workpays is an employability and skills agency based in Sutton-in-Ashfield, which specialises in helping young people gain skills and to get into work.
Other speakers at today’s Nottinghamshire event were Helen Richardson, Managing Director of Workpays, and Martin Ridgeway, Finance Director of Workpays Academies Ltd (pictured above).
Katrina Woodward, Commissioning Manager for Skills and Employability at D2N2, said: “Apprenticeships can give young people a great start in their careers; providing a route to skills, experience and qualifications.
“Our Levywise events, which were well attended, were about helping businesses gain a greater understanding of what the Apprenticeship Levy means for them; and how it’s designed to help employers across the D2N2 area and nationally employ the right apprentices, and develop existing staff up to higher and degree apprenticeships, to aid their businesses and train them to a higher quality.”
To learn more about the new Apprenticeship Levy see the Gov.Uk website link by clicking HERE.
For more information on D2N2’s work to help skills and training in its area see its website at www.d2n2lep.org/skills
Further information about Workpays can be found on its website at www.workpays.co.uk
Media wanting to know more about the D2N2 LEP can contact Sean Kirby, D2N2 Communications Manager, on 0115 957 8749 or email: email@example.com