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Training partnership leads to award win


The work conducted by Jigsaw Training went the extra mile – and helped facilities management company Mitie scoop a top award.

Jigsaw Training is the company’s apprenticeship training partner and joined the Mitie team at the recent National Apprenticeship Awards where they were announced as ‘Macro Employer of the Year’.

Jigsaw has worked closely as Mitie’s training partner for 10 years, across all aspects of its apprenticeship programme.

James Blackhurst, managing director of Jigsaw Training, said: “We have delivered and supported the Mitie apprenticeship programme over a long period and we’re thrilled to see the company recognised for its commitment to apprenticeships.

“This is a partnership we’re proud to be involved in, and we’re thrilled to have played our part in helping them win this accolade.”

The National Apprenticeship Awards, now in their 13th year, are run by the National Apprenticeship Service and recognise excellence in two areas: businesses that grow their own talent with apprentices and apprentices who have made a significant contribution to their workplaces.

A spokesman for Mitie said: “Mitie’s success wouldn’t have been possible without the help from our training partner Jigsaw. Working with Jigsaw since 2007, they’ve assisted us with everything to do with our apprentices, from signing them up in the first place and tutoring them, to dealing with their issues and fronting Ofsted inspections.”


Blog: Counting down to the levy



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



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.

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