Let's Talk Apprenticeships! Posted on 1 March 2019 by Michelle - Kent-Teach in Resources Are you thinking about apprenticeships as part of your strategic workforce planning? Are you considering how your school can encourage a wider, more diverse and inclusive workforce in order to underpin and support recruitment and retention? Are you utilising your apprenticeship levy to recruit new talent or invest in your existing workforce? Did you know that now more than ever, the government are committed to improving the quality of apprenticeships in addition to increasing the number of apprenticeship opportunities across the public sector? It is the expectation that schools will play an important part in contributing to this by increasing the number of apprentices across their own workforce. Apprenticeships are a good way for schools to enable the practical knowledge and skills needed to enter the workplace, retain staff and upskill the current workforce to enable career progression. Apprenticeships can provide your school with the opportunity to introduce training tailored to the needs, requirements and working standards of your school. They offer a mixture of both work-based learning and formal training in order to minimise disruption but maximise the impact and output that staff have in school.So, what do you need to know about apprenticeships? Let’s start at the beginning! What is the apprenticeship reform? Apprenticeships in England have undergone a reform, with the government focussing on improving the quality and quantity of apprenticeships to address skills gaps. As a result, apprenticeship standards have and continue to be developed, with employers formulated by Trailblazers across a wide range of sectors to better meet the needs of the industry.What does the apprenticeship levy mean for schools? As of April 2017, the way in which the government funded apprenticeships in England changed, whereby some employers were required to contribute to the apprenticeship levy. Ultimately this resulted in changes to the funding for apprenticeship training for all employers.The changes include the introduction of a new co-investment rate for non-levy paying employers. If your school has a payroll bill that is less than £3m, you will not pay into the levy, however, will be eligible for ‘co-investment’. This means that the government will cover 90% of your apprentice’s training and assessment costs up to the funding band maximum, and you’ll only need to contribute that last 10%. Kelsi has produced a useful flow chart and guidance document to help you establish if your school is affected by the levy. If the employer of the staff in your school is a local authority, a governing body which controls more than one school, or a multi-academy trust with an annual pay bill of more than £3 million, you may contribute to the levy through them. What is an apprenticeship? Apprenticeships are not just for young people, anyone at any age can become an apprentice and benefit from gaining valuable skills and knowledge in a specific job role. An apprenticeship consists of a combination of work-based learning and off-the-job training, enabling the apprentice to bring new skills into the work environment. Who are apprenticeships available to? Apprenticeships are available to new recruits and existing employees and are a way of bringing new talent into to your school, as well as to develop, harness and upskill your existing workforce.What levels of apprenticeship are available? What are the benefits of recruiting an apprentice or developing my workforce? Schools can recruit, retain and develop skilled and invested employeesEmployees will work to aligned industry/sector specific standards Schools can tackle skills gaps and shortages It helps to motivate your existing workforce It aids recruitment and retention. What apprenticeships are available for my school?Schools employ a variety of staff across a wide range of job roles that align with a wide variety of apprenticeship frameworks and standards.Here are just some of the apprenticeship standards and frameworks available to schools: • Teacher• Teaching Assistant • Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools • Supporting Teaching and Learning in Physical Education and School Sport • School Business Professional • Business Administrator • Customer Service Practitioner • HR Support • HR Consultant/Partner • Team Leader/Supervisor • Senior Leader • Facilities ManagementA full list of apprenticeships available standards and current frameworks are available online, however, please note that all apprenticeship frameworks will be withdrawn by 2020 and replaced by apprenticeship standards.If you’re interested in recruiting an apprentice and not sure of the key times to advertise, why not take a look at our key recruitment periods infographics.