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Jigsaw Training news & blog

Blog: Counting down to the levy

22/12/2016

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Not all employers will be required to pay the Apprenticeship Levy, which will see businesses with a payroll exceeding £3million taxed to help fund apprenticeships.

But for those who are, the clock is ticking and with three months to go until the reforms take effect, now is the time to make sure everything is in place. Here’s our guide to what businesses need to do ahead of April 1.

Review existing training
Training programmes must be efficient and effective, so ask yourself if what is already in place is robust, with benefits for both the business and employees. If you’re already providing apprenticeships, have you thought about which new standards are being rolled out in 2017? See our blog on Trailblazers for more information. When it comes to utilising the levy, it’s important to have a strategy and not spend for the sake of it. Also remember that providing apprenticeships doesn’t necessarily mean recruiting externally, existing staff can undertake them.

Register in good time
You’ll need to register for a digital account from which to manage funding, choose courses and select training providers, and this is available from January. Make sure you’re registered in good time to allow for potential problems or queries. You’ll pay the funds through the usual Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system and will need to declare it to HMRC.

Spending the levy
The levy will be available to spend from May 2017. An external training provider can help not only with the allocation of funds, but implement apprenticeships, deliver support and provide important advice. Choose a provider with expertise and experience within your sector. It’s worth taking the time to find the right fit, ensuring the needs of your business are met, as well as allowing enough time to plan your training strategy. If you don’t appoint a provider, you’ll need to be registered as an approved apprenticeship employer provider.

It’s important to remember that apprenticeships are vital tools which increase skills, improve workforces, help to grow businesses and boost the economy. The Apprenticeship Levy will create opportunities for more people and it’s crucial to be organised in order to reap the benefits they offer.

Blog: Raising standards in apprenticeships

6/12/2016

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The spotlight is firmly on apprenticeships, with four months to go until the Apprenticeship Levy takes effect, and the hard work continues behind the scenes in sustaining and raising the standard of them.

In a bid to give employers more control over how apprenticeship programmes are designed and implemented, groups called Trailblazers from a range of sectors continue to form to develop new apprenticeship standards.

Trailblazers are working to benefit both employees and employers, by boosting apprenticeship standards across the board, leading to a steady pipeline of talent and more skilled workers.

The groups consist of a cross section of employers from a particular sector who work together to create new, occupation specific standards which detail the skills, knowledge and behaviours required of an apprentice in that role.

As experts in delivering training programmes to the Facilities Management sector, Jigsaw Training is working together with employers to help increase quality in this field.

FM is one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK, employing around 10 per cent of the population, with a diverse range of roles and opportunities for progression.

The Level 2 Property Maintenance Operative has already been approved and seen a high demand from employers, while the Level 3 Facilities Management Supervisor, Level 4 Facilities Manager, Level 6 Head of Facilities Management, Level 2 Cleaning and Support Services Operative and Level 3 Security Manager are well underway.

Taking business needs into account and reflecting them through the standards will enable employers to attract new talent to the industry, as well as engage their current workforce in education to support the talent pipeline more effectively.

With 89 per cent of employers saying apprentices help make their business more productive, it is in everyone’s best interest to ensure the system is robust and effective. It’s also important to continue reminding businesses of the importance of apprenticeships and the vast benefits they can bring.

With many of the new Trailblazer standards expected to be rolled out in 2017, it will only be then when we will begin to see the true impact of the latest apprenticeship reforms.

Training specialist launches Apprenticeship Levy advice service

7/11/2016

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Training provider Jigsaw Training has launched a new advice service to help businesses understand and prepare for the Apprenticeship Levy.

From April 2017, businesses whose annual wage bills exceed £3m per year will pay into the new Apprenticeship Levy at a rate of 0.5 per cent.

To ensure businesses affected by the levy are ready, Jigsaw Training has launched a consultancy service, providing advice on apprenticeship programmes and the impact of the levy on the organisation.

James Blackhurst, managing director of Jigsaw Training, said: “While there’s still a number of details about the apprenticeship levy to be announced, there is enough information about the reforms available and now is the time to take action and plan.

“Businesses need to be ready for the levy coming into place next April and using our wealth of expertise in the adult learning and skills sector we can help them develop the right strategy, review what is already in place and help with the next steps.”

Following the initial consultation – being offered at no cost – next steps include development of a project plan; ensuring current learning and development programmes fit into apprenticeship frameworks; and creating a campaign to attract apprentices.

Jigsaw Training specialises in apprenticeships, providing the complete package from training needs analysis through to the design, administration, delivery, management and evaluation of all programmes.

It delivers apprenticeships in sectors including facilities management, catering, security and retail.

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