Semta, the sector skills body for science, engineering and advanced manufacturing, has welcomed the government's announcement of further details on the Apprenticeship Levy, due to be introduced next April.
Semta has announced that it is ready to redouble its efforts to help British industry make the most of the impending root and branch reform of apprenticeship funding.
The organisation, which represents more than 148,000 companies large and small in engineering and advanced manufacturing, has launched a free end-to-end service to help businesses successfully make the transition.
The Semta Group is offering free consultations and fully assisted support to help both levy and non-paying levy businesses recruit, train and qualify apprentices across the country.
Head of technical services of Semta,Christian Warden companies: “We have been calling for clarity – and the government is responding. There is some good news for everyone here.
“All companies get longer to use their levy funds (24 months rather than 18) and small businesses will have access to fully funded apprenticeships.
“Semta champions the use of skills to enhance social mobility and wealth creation, so the new measures to help those from disadvantaged backgrounds are particularly welcome.
“We are ready to redouble our efforts to ensure that our sector overcomes any obstacles and makes the most of the opportunities that the Apprenticeship Levy will bring.”
The new details include:
- Employers will have 24 months (rather than 18 months) to spend any funds in their digital account
- Digital funds can be transferred to other employers in their supply chains, sector or to Apprenticeship Training Agencies (from 2018).
- STEM apprenticeship frameworks will be funded more generously than other frameworks with enhanced provision to support improved quality, and greater flexibility to continue training those already qualified
The government has also confirmed that it is providing more support for younger apprentices and disadvantaged people, including:
- 100% contribution from the government to the cost of training for small employers (those with fewer than 50 employees) that will not pay the Levy and which take on apprentices who are 16 to 18 years old, 19 to 24 year old care leavers or 19 to 24 year olds with an Education and Health Care Plan
- £1,000 each from the government to employers and training providers when they take on 16 to 18 year olds, 19 to 24 year olds who were in care or who have an Education and Health Care Plan
- Help for training providers to adapt to the new, simpler funding model through an additional cash payment equal to 20% of the funding band maximum where they train 16 to 18 year olds on frameworks
- The government has simplified the system to support young people from disadvantaged areas to ensure the opportunity to undertake an apprenticeship is open to everyone