For those organisations with an annual payroll of £3million or more, the government’s new apprenticeship levy scheme offers access to effective training – if you know how to use it.
The registration process for the new apprenticeship management system is now open. The Apprenticeship Service, previously the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) will allow employers to manage their apprenticeship funds to make sure they are making the most of the skills investment.
We at Jigsaw Training believe this is a great opportunity to take advantage of apprenticeships as long as you have a good understanding of the process.
The priority for employers should be to register correctly, which allows you to access funds you pay into the levy link PAYE schemes, add other organisations and enable more than one person to manage the service.
Employers can also use the Apprenticeship Service to look for relevant apprenticeships and find a training provider to meet their needs.
First, each organisation will need to work out how much apprenticeship levy it will pay and declare this to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) each month.
Once the levy for April has been declared, employers will be able to view this in their account from the end of May 2017. They will be asked to accept an agreement with the Skills Funding Agency which sets out the terms for use of the Apprenticeship Service.
On acceptance of the agreement, employers will be able to start using the Apprenticeship Service for adding or amending information about apprentices and training, authorise payments to training providers, view payment activity and pause or stop a payment to the training provider.
From the May 1, employers will be able to use the funds to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment of new and existing employees.
If businesses do not bring a training provider on-board, they will need to be registered as an approved apprenticeship employer provider in order to deliver their own apprenticeship training.
By enlisting the support of an external provider, employers can continue focusing on the day to day operations of the business, safe in the knowledge their training requirements are being progressed in line with the guidelines.
As an external provider ourselves, we would advise reviewing what is already in place before suggesting initial recommendations and then working to implement a structured training programme, developed with the specific needs of the business in mind.
For more information on how Jigsaw Training can help, contact us here.