There are almost half a million apprentices working in businesses throughout the UK, in traditional trades like plumbing, engineering and hairdressing as well as in more diverse roles in marketing, animal care and IT.
Apprenticeships are an attractive option for employers as they:
- Help fill skills gaps
- Bring new ideas into the business
- Increase productivity
- Grow the bottom line
But in the Autumn Statement, Apprenticeships came under the spotlight as Chancellor George Osborne announced a new levy, requiring large companies to pay an additional 0.5% on company payrolls – the money raised will be used to fund an additional three million Apprenticeships.
What does the new levy mean for you?
In summary, the new apprenticeship levy has not gone down well with businesses – the Institute of Directors said it would be a big cost for businesses while the CBI labelled it an additional tax that would hit many smaller companies.
However, the impact is thought to be small on Cornish companies as only businesses with a wage bill of more than £3m will pay the additional 0.5% when the levy is introduced in April 2017. Almost 90% of the registered businesses in Cornwall employ nine or fewer employees, making them exempt from the new levy.
Skills minister Nick Boles said: “Today’s apprentices are tomorrow’s business leaders so it is right we invest in securing their futures. By developing the skills of young people, businesses can boost their productivity, employees can harness their talent and we can reach our potential as world beaters.” via TES, 2015
Employing an apprentice in Cornwall remains is a relatively low cost means of growing your work force – you pay them at least the minimum wage and they work with you for between one and four years, depending on their apprenticeship, while learning on the job and gaining additional training from their local college or training provider.
Apprenticeships also make a contribution to the wider economy, with data from the National Audit Office showing that every £1 spent on apprentices already pays back £18 to the economy.
If you’d like to find out more about employing an apprentice in your company, speak to your local training provider or get in touch and we’ll answer any questions to help you decide if an apprentice is right for your business.