Friday, August 21, 2015

News: Apprenticeships levy on the way

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The Government has outlined plans to increase the number of quality apprenticeships across England and launched consultation on how it plans to raise funds from a levy on large employers.

The aim is for three million new apprenticeships to be created by 2020 and the control of funding is being placed in the hands of employers via a digital apprenticeships voucher. Following consultation, a levy is set to be introduced in 2017 and is designed to increase investment in training and apprenticeships.

The proposal is for apprenticeship levy funding to only be used to support apprenticeship training and assessment with registered providers to ensure quality. The Government believes that firms that are committed to training will be able to get back more than they put in.

Also announced are requirements to take a company's apprenticeship offer into account when awarding large government contracts and publishing new "industry standards" so that apprentices have the skills that companies need.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "The greatest asset any employer has is their workforce. And by investing in them, they are investing in the success and future of their business.

"As a one nation government, we are committed to supporting three million quality apprenticeships over the next five years – to help strengthen our economy, deliver the skills that employers need and give millions more hardworking people financial security and a brighter future."

In Rotherham, demand continues for high quality apprentices in the manufacturing and engineering sector.

The AMRC Training Centre is currently training more than 400 people aged from 16. Part of the The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing, apprentices at the £20.5m centre on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) have opportunities to progress on to postgraduate courses, doctorates and MBA levels. Sponsoring companies range from global leaders such as Rolls-Royce and Tata Steel to local high-tech supply-chain companies.

Dan Swift, programme manager at the AMRC Training Centre, said: "Due to continual high demand from local employers and candidates wanting to use the AMRC Training Centre this year, we have recruited more trainers to cope with the response and offer further recruitment opportunities across all five of our engineering and business services pathways that commence from September 2015.

"We have also added a second intake for apprentices in October 2015, giving aspiring apprentices and prospective employers alike, additional time to take advantage of this amazing opportunity."

All throughout next week (24-27 August) between 10am and 2pm, the AMRC Training Centre is holding an open week and encouraging anyone looking at progressing into an apprenticeship to come and visit the centre's state-of-the-art training facilities and meet with staff and current apprentices.

Also in Rotherham, Brinsworth Training has seen an impressive 60% increase in apprenticeship starts in the 14/15 financial year. With state of the art facilities at Templeborough, the centre provides specialist engineering training to learners and employers across the Sheffield City Region.

Jen Bramley, operations director at Brinsworth Training, said: "In my first year at Brinsworth Training I have restructured the organisation and dramatically changed the training offered to both employers and young people to ensure that we are providing flexible employer led training, responding to industry innovations and technological advancements with increased flexibility.

"In addition to the growth, Brinsworth Training has applied a strong focus on quality improvement which has seen us significantly increase both overall and timely success of learners on apprenticeship programmes, ensuring a quality service for both employers and young people, enabling us to boast success rates well above the national average."

AMRC Training website
Brinsworth Training website

Images: AMRC

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