Apprenticeship levy: new employer guidance released

22 April 2016 -


CMI says timetable opens the door for employers ‘to take full advantage of available skills funding’

Matt Scott

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills has published a timetable for the implementation of the apprenticeship levy first announced by George Osborne in last year’s Autumn Statement.

The guidance also confirmed details of the 10% additional funding the government will give to employers providing apprenticeship schemes and the Digital Apprenticeship Service that will provide access to information on apprenticeships and the levy.

CMI director of strategy and external affairs Petra Wilton said the publication of the further information was welcome news for employers.

“Employers have less than twelve months to put their plans in place, and so a concise guide to announcements to date on the levy is to be welcomed,” she said. “The guide sets out a clear timetable, and employers need to act now to take full advantage of available skills funding. Apprenticeships are a highly cost effective route for workforce training, but will require new relationships and a fresh approach.”

Trailblazer Programme

As part of this fresh approach to apprenticeships, employer-led Trailblazer groups have been creating new apprenticeship standards that cover a specific job role and sets out the core skills, knowledge and behaviours an apprentice will need to be fully competent in their job role and meet the needs of employers in the sector.

These will eventually replace existing apprenticeship frameworks that are being phased out by 2020.

As part of the Trailblazer programme, CMI, along with a number of major employers, launched the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship to help provide the next generation of professional managers and leaders and address the issue that 71% of organisations in the UK fail to effectively train first-time managers, leaving them undertrained and inadequate in the face of the complexities of managing a team.

Wilton said: “Degree apprenticeships have only just arrived but have already established themselves as a key tool for improving management capability and maximising workforce potential. Smart business leaders that recognise the power of a professionally trained workforce are already setting up programmes to benefit from the current funding regime.”

The Degree Apprenticeship combines on-the-job training with world-class academic tuition. Once completed, the apprentices achieve a degree and Chartered Manager status.

“People are being asked to lead without training or support, with ineffective managers draining British productivity,” said CMI chief executive Ann Francke. “This Degree Apprenticeship finally addresses the core issue that a third of managers are rated as ineffective by their teams, a key cause for the UK’s poor performance in productivity.

“The new Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship ties together the training offered by educators and employers, with apprentices offered the threefold guarantee of a quality degree, on-the-job experience and a professional pathway for future development.”

The full guidance on the apprenticeship levy from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills can be found here

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