Apprenticeship Levy: funding new talent for your business

Published: Wednesday 29 July 2020

As businesses begin to return to some levels of normality and the Government is allowing more businesses to open each week, companies will soon begin to look at their staffing levels, what changes they need to consider to their recruitment model going forwards and how that will impact its cash flow and profitability. Businesses will need to consider what they need, who that person is and what is the best approach for finding that person will be.

Recent changes in the summer statement included incentives for businesses to recruit more apprentices in the next six months; the apprenticeship levy remains a popular method for businesses to find the talent they need for the short-term operations, and to find the future leaders of the business in the long-term.

For those employers with a payroll of over £3 million and not exempt from the levy, it presents an opportunity to use some of the cash being paid across to HMRC as a solution to upskill its current workforce and develop the existing team. Most businesses would have been impacted recently by COVID-19 in some capacity, and with business plans being revised regularly to save costs going forwards, this should be a significant opportunity for businesses.

With the effects of COVID-19 and Brexit still uncertain, access to labour could be impacted and businesses should begin to plan for this now and make use of the apprenticeship levy to finance this. The construction industry, for example, is likely to be impacted, with travel between the UK and Europe expected to be disrupted post-Brexit; promoting apprenticeships and learning ’on the job’ may well help fill this shortage in labour.

As businesses continue with finding a new ways of working post lockdown, businesses may need new skills to come into the business to help adjust to the way in which it operates. The change in consumers and how they buy goods has, in recent years, moved more towards online shopping and away from the traditional high street. Having the necessary skills within the team to facilitate that trend will be important so that businesses are not left behind.

COVID-19 will no doubt have had an impact on how businesses recruit both new employees and apprentices during this period and how they deliver onboarding and training as they transition to a new way of working remotely. Most employers and training providers have needed to be innovative in how to deliver the necessary training, with many tools available such as Microsoft teams and Zoom to name but a few, whilst still making new people feel part of the firm and learning the culture of that business.

The enhancement in the apprenticeship levy will be a positive for businesses looking to take on more apprentices this year. For those that have not considered apprenticeships previously, financially it is becoming more attractive to offer apprenticeships and the ways in which it might improve the business are evolving.

If you would like to find out more about this or have any questions regarding the recent changes in the apprenticeship levy, please do not hesitate to contact Dan Town at dan.town@hazelwoods.co.uk or 01242 68000