British Glass has just hosted a forum for glass industry HR leads focussing on the forthcoming Apprenticeship Levy. Facilitated by the RNN Group, the session revealed a far more user-friendly and financially valuable scheme than industry expected from the recent media coverage.
The Apprenticeship Levy (which becomes payable in April 2017) applies to all UK employers with an annual wage bill of more than £3million. Around 2% of employers will be liable to pay, at a rate of 0.5% of their pay bill (less a £15,000 government allowance). The money raised can be reclaimed by the employer – to fund apprenticeship training – through an online account with the new Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS).
But there are three key opportunities for employers to lever additional funding, as Charlie Grayson, work-based learning business development manager at RNN Group explained:
“First, the government has already committed to add 10p to every £1 in an employer’s DAS account – so straight away you get an extra 10%. But secondly, when you exhaust this pot, subsequent apprenticeship training will be 90% funded by government, with the employer contributing just 10%. So the apprenticeship levy is actually a government-supported opportunity to up-skill your entire workforce.”
Employers who are not subject to the levy can also benefit from this 90% government support on apprenticeship costs.
The third and final element that makes this scheme so potentially valuable comes from the vast range of apprenticeships, particularly through the Trailblazers initiative – under which British Glass members created new standards for the glass industry.
“Apprenticeship funding can be used for existing staff as well as new recruits – whatever their age. And for the first time – funding is available for staff to undertake an apprenticeship at the same or a lower level than their existing qualifications, if it provides substantive new skill development: that makes a big difference.
“We’re working closely with employers throughout the UK to map apprenticeship provision to their entire workforce development plans. With so many high-quality apprenticeships to choose from now – and many of these developed by employers – industry really can get exactly the work-based skills training it’s looking for.”
Skills funding is complex – and the rules for the levy scheme have only just started to become clear. That’s why over the coming months British Glass will be working with providers and experts – such as the RNN Group – to help members maximise the value to their companies.
Dave Dalton, chief executive of British Glass said:
“I want our industry to be a leader in training and skills development. Glass manufacturing and technology offers fascinating roles – from fast-moving consumer-focussed production to development of novel glass applications for fields such as medicine, power generation, defence and aviation. To remain competitive and progressive we need a workforce that’s properly trained with technical, commercial, management and leadership skills. I urge all parts of the glass supply chain – and we will support our members – to get the best value for their business from this new scheme.”
For official information on the Apprenticeship Levy visit
RNN Training is an amalgamation of Rotherham College and North Notts College and as part of the RNN group is connected to four subsidiary training providers operating across the East Midlands and Yorkshire. Last year they worked with 15,000 learners across subjects from engineering and welding to customer care and business management.