Semta: Apprenticeship Levy must work for industry

Advanced manufacturing and engineering businesses – of all shapes and sizes, and in all parts of England – are being urged to not to miss out on the opportunities afforded by the new Apprenticeship Levy by Semta, the skills body for science, engineering and advanced manufacturing.

Semta Apprenticeship Service has been working with employers across the sector to help them to prepare for the Apprenticeship Levy since its announcement in the summer of 2015 and has developed a ‘one-stop shop’ service to make spending levy funds on high-quality, industry-developed apprenticeships as simple as possible for employers.

The Apprenticeship Levy:

On its introduction on 6 April, 2017, the Apprenticeship Levy will be set at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s annual payroll – a £15,000 allowance from government will mean that only employers with annual payrolls of more than £3m will ultimately pay any levy.

This means that a majority of employers will not pay the levy and will not pay for their apprenticeships with the new digital voucher scheme.  Instead, 90% of the cost of their apprenticeships will be covered by government, with further top-ups being offered too so that some non-levy funded apprenticeships will continue to enjoy full government funding.

From Spring 2018, levy-paying employers will be able to transfer up to 10% of their apprenticeship vouchers to SMEs and their supply chains – offering the prospect of millions of pounds’ worth of additional funding cascading down through the advanced manufacturing and engineering sector.

Head of Semta Apprenticeship Service, Annette Collins explained: “This is a momentous moment in skills provision – one not to be taken lightly.

“We have skills shortages across the advanced manufacturing and engineering sector, and the levy offers an opportunity to employers across the sector to spend a potentially quite substantial sum of money on meeting their skills needs.

“It’s really important to remember that employers will be able to be creative and flexible in how they spend their levy funds to benefit their business. They will be able to use them to up-skill and re-skill existing workers, as well as to recruit new talent. The Semta Apprenticeship Service will be there to help those in industry to maximise business and learner impact.”

Collins concluded: “There is an unprecedented amount of change currently taking place in the skills arena.  However, built upon our unique industry insight, the Semta Group can help employers to fully prepare for the challenges and opportunities this offers, helping to develop skills solutions that ensure maximum business and learner impact.”