The North East’s performance on take up of apprenticeships by employers and individuals is strong and provides a good base to support the Government’s target to deliver 3 million apprenticeships as set out in their ‘English Apprenticeships: Our 2020 Vision’.
The North East LEP co-ordinates Apprenticeship Growth Partnership (AGP), which supports businesses to encourage the development of apprenticeship vacancies and promote higher level apprenticeships. It aims to engage sector groups to develop standards and liaise and promote the development of high quality apprenticeship provision that businesses value.
Apprenticeships have long been a popular way for people to kick-start their working career. In the past twenty years there has been major Government reform to improve access to apprenticeships both for learners and employees.
Today, apprenticeships are available in 1,500 job roles, covering more than 170 industries. For young people looking to learn while they earn, they provide an attractive alternative to higher education and employers can make the most of an ambitious and enthusiastic talent pool.
Some facts about apprenticeships
- Employers say that qualified apprentices are 15% more employable than those with other qualifications
- After finishing, the majority of apprentices (90%) stay in employment (including 2% self-employed), with seven in ten (71%) staying with the same employer
- Apprenticeships enable businesses to grow their skills base resulting in increased profits, lower prices and better products.
What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a work-based training programme for people aged 16 and over. They provide the opportunity to learn a skill whilst studying towards a professional qualification, including degrees.
Taking between one to five years to complete, apprenticeships can be the beginning of a successful career for many people and deliver huge benefits to employers.
Why take on an apprentice?
Findings released as part of National Apprenticeship Week showed that 89% of employers reported that apprenticeships helped their business improve the quality of their product or service.
Apprenticeships were also shown to boost productivity to businesses by, on average, £214 per week.
For businesses looking to develop and grow a highly skilled workforce, apprenticeships provide the opportunity to invest in staff from early in their career.
Is funding available to take on an apprentice?
Yes. Grants and funding are available to businesses to support apprenticeships.
You may be eligible for a £1,500 apprenticeship grant if you have less than 50 employees and your apprentice is aged between 16-24. To find out more visit https://www.gov.uk/take-on-an-apprentice/employer-grants-apprentices
Funding is also available to support training so your apprentice can work towards a qualification. To find out more visit https://www.gov.uk/take-on-an-apprentice/employer-grants-apprentices
What is the apprenticeship levy?
Announced by Government in 2015, the apprenticeship levy comes into force in April 2017 and will see employers with a wage bill totaling more than £3m required to make an investment to fund an additional three million apprenticeships in the UK by 2020.
All employers will receive an annual allowance of £15,000 to offset against the levy.
Click here to find out if your organisation will have to contribute to the levy and by how much.
For the latest Government information visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-levy-how-it-will-work/apprenticeship-levy-how-it-will-work
What does my business have to do to employ an apprentice?
To employ an apprentice you must provide:
- Work with experienced staff members
- The opportunity to learn job specific skills
- The ability to study for a work-based qualification during their working week
All apprentices must be paid at least minimum wage during their placement. To learn more, visit https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates
How do I find a suitable apprentice?
There are up to 28,000 quality apprenticeship vacancies available online at www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk at any one time.
Register your business with the National Apprenticeship Service and they’ll help you find a training organisation that supplies apprenticeships in your industry.
Remember to check whether you’re eligible for a grant too.
If you have any questions, you can contact the National Apprenticeship Service direct on 0800 015 0600.
What if I don’t want to employ an apprentice?
If an apprentice isn’t right for your business, a traineeship might be a suitable alternative.
Traineeships are a stepping-stone to an apprenticeship or job, providing 16-24 year olds with no qualifications above GCSE or equivalent the opportunity to gain skills and experience in a field of industry.
If you’re able to provide a high quality work placement and support trainees with additional job skills, like how to prepare for an interview or working as team, a traineeship could provide a pool of high quality recruits for your sector.
Find out more by clicking here.
How can I find out more information about apprenticeships and traineeships?
The Government’s Get in Go Far website provides lots of information for employers and employees about apprenticeships and traineeships: www.getingofar.gov.uk
If you’d like more information about employing an apprentice, you’ll find everything you need to know at: https://www.gov.uk/take-on-an-apprentice