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Preparing your business for the apprenticeship levy and the new standards

If you're ready to benefit from the new apprenticeships and get a return on your levy investment, follow these five essential steps to get your business apprenticeship-ready. 

  • Understand the apprenticeship levy and the impact to your business

The apprenticeship levy will be introduced in April 2017 to all businesses with a pay bill over £3million, which can only be recouped when you employ and train apprentices.

To make sure you get the best results from your levy payment, you need to start planning now. You should work out what impact it will have on your business and develop an apprenticeship strategy to ensure you maximise your return on the levy investment.

Find out more about the levy and how we can help you maximise your apprenticeship investment.

  • Make it work for you – think about how apprenticeships can be used to develop your talent and increase productivity and retention.

Apprenticeships can fit into businesses in a number of ways. They can be used as a recruitment tool or to help staff progress within the business.

The new-style apprenticeships have been developed by employers and form progressive career pathways, incorporating the knowledge, skills and behaviours employers have defined for today’s industry.

Look across your business and explore the new standards, covering entry level through to managerial roles, to see which of them can be used to develop the skills you need.

  • Look at your what current training and development you already do and how this maps to the apprenticeship standards

In the new apprenticeships, the training is not prescribed, so you can choose in-house or external programmes.

You have flexibility in the training your apprentice undertakes as long as it meets the apprenticeship standard - so you can decide the combination of training that best suits your business needs.

Think about the internal and external programmes that will benefit your business, and how they meet the standards.

  • Consider whether you want to use an external training provider or your in-house team to deliver the training.

If you plan to use an external training provider, you’ll need to identify the one that best meets your needs. Our gold standard apprenticeship provider scheme can help with this, saving you precious time and resources when you’re looking for an excellent provider partner.

Alternatively, if you choose to deliver the training in-house, you’ll need to register your business as a provider on the register of apprenticeship training providers.

Think about which of the above solutions will work best for your business. You can find out more about each option here.

  • Select an assessment organisation to carry out the end-point assessment

Apprentices must pass an assessment at the end of the programme, which checks their competence and ensures the apprentice is ready to progress.

As an employer, you’ll be responsible for deciding when your apprentice is ready for the assessment, and you’ll need to be confident that they have covered the full standard. Their progress should be regularly reviewed and recorded throughout the programme.

You’ll need to choose an assessment organisation to carry out the end-point assessment, and your training provider will contract with them on your behalf. If you’re delivering the training yourself, you will need to contract with them directly.

To find assessment organisations that are approved to assess the standards in our industries you’ll be able to search the register of apprenticeship assessment organisations via the apprenticeship service.


Workshop: How to measure your return on investment from apprenticeships 

Are you looking for practical support to measure your return on investment from apprenticeships?

58% of businesses are confident that they will see a positive return from their levy investment, but nearly two-thirds of businesses currently have no measures in place to assess this.

If you need support to put realistic measurements in place, join one of our upcoming workshops.

Find out more

Apprenticeships 101: Helping employers navigate the new apprenticeships

Our Apprenticeships 101 brings together each step of the new apprenticeships and contains guidance to help employers navigate their way through the new system.

Find out more

Join our FREE network to get up to speed with the changes

The new apprenticeships present employers with an opportunity to develop skills, improve staff retention and increase productivity, but there’s a lot to think about in preparation - our FREE network can help.

Find out more