Haven House Conference and Training Centre’s conference room was fully booked to accommodate over 60 local businesses keen to attend the “Are you ready for the Apprenticeship Levy” event held on 1st November. Many of Cornwall’s top employers were in attendance including; Cornwall Fire and Rescue, Eden Project, Foot Anstey, Imerys, Curver, Cormac, Chamber of Commerce, Seasalt and Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust.
The event focused on key changes the Levy would bring for Cornish businesses, and was supported by Richard Daulton, Employer Services and Delivery Manager, National Apprenticeship Service and Joan Mallard, Talent Strategy Team Leader, Cornwall Council.
Mr Daulton kicked things off by reiterating the Government’s commitment to “significantly increase the quality and quantity of Apprenticeship starts in England to 3million by 2020”, and that the Apprenticeship Levy has been designed to support this move. Mr Daulton went on to explain that the desire to increase numbers is based on the benefits Apprenticeships are providing, “Employers are experiencing tangible improvements to their product or service as a result of Apprenticeships, the taxpayer and wider economy are experiencing real benefits from Apprenticeships and they are contributing to the Governments overall goal of improving labour market outcomes”. “Learners choosing the Apprenticeship route are also gaining highly marketable skills, that make it more likely for them to remain in employment”.
Those in attendance listened carefully as Mr Daulton went onto explain the practicalities and benefits of the Levy when it comes into effect on 6th April 2017. The 0.5% levy will only be payable by employers with a pay bill over £3million, which equates to “less than 2% of employers”. A key point was that both paying and non-paying employers will receive benefits from the Levy, in the form of digital funds and Government funding to spend on Apprenticeship training and assessments, providing the employer is working with an approved training provider and assessment organisation. Truro and Penwith College are one such approved provider, and Head of Business Tamsyn Harris was in attendance to support discussions, speaking after the event Tamsyn Harris commented “It was great to see the enthusiasm of important local businesses at this event, things are changing but Apprentices will continue to be important to employers, potentially more than ever. The event was held to help businesses through these changes, and to make them aware of the ongoing support provided by Truro and Penwith College, to ensure they continue to benefit from the Levy”.
Joan Mallard, Cornwall Council, helped employers put the impact of the Levy into practical terms, explaining the Council plan to more than double the number of Apprentices in their organisation by March 2017 and how they are preparing to ensure they make the most of the Apprenticeship Levy. “The increase in Apprentices gives us the opportunity to grow and develop our workforce, while supporting future skills needs of the organisation. Apprenticeships are not just for new employees and offer a fantastic opportunity to develop existing employees of the Council”.
While the Apprenticeship team at Truro and Penwith College are always on hand to offer advice and support to employers, a very useful Q&A document has also been uploaded to the College’s website at http://www.truro-penwith.ac.uk/latest-news/are-you-ready-for-the-apprenticeship-levy-qa and further information can be found on www.gov.uk.
Learners and their parents seek Apprenticeship information
The most recent Apprenticeship Information Event was attended by over 150 parents and learners on 5th November, as part of Truro College Open Day. Guests heard from the Apprenticeship team as well as Lauren Carne, Business Administration Apprentice, and her line manager Zoe Gofton, Planning and Engagement Officer at Cornwall Fire Rescue and Community Safety Service.
Lauren explained her uncertainty while studying at College full time and that the Apprenticeship has become the ideal option. “I can’t believe the things I am now doing and how much I have learned and progressed in the last year” said Lauren. Zoe Gofton commented “Lauren has exceeded our expectations in terms of the amount she is contributing and the responsibilities and tasks she is successfully completing”.
Lauren was highly commended in the Business category at the Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards on Friday 18th November. The Awards was hosted by Pirate FM’s Holly Day and Neil Caddy at Truro College where the Gannel building was transformed for the event. A three course dinner was prepared and served by Truro and Penwith College’s Rick Stein Academy. Take a look at how the evening went as well as the results here.