West Midlands professional services employers are being urged to seize the new Apprenticeship levy and stake a bigger claim of the funds they may be entitled to.
According to findings by funding experts, just 3% out of the West Midlands companies expected to pay the levy are from the financial, legal and insurance sector. Nationally, this is at 18%, even though Birmingham has the UK’s youngest population and the fastest growing workforce likely to join this sector between now and 2020.
The levy research findings were outlined during a roundtable discussion hosted by BMet College.
Suzie Branch-Haddow, Director of the Greater Birmingham Professional Services Academy at BMet College said: “The levy presents a real opportunity for employers to diversify their workforces by recruiting a mixture of university graduates and technically-skilled apprentices. These new Apprenticeships are expected to be worth £105 million to Birmingham, so our professional services sector should be thinking seriously about how to gain the best returns from this through their future recruitment and training strategies.”
From April 2017 the Apprenticeship Levy for employers will be set at 0.5% of their pay roll cost and will be offset by a £15,000 allowance. This means an employer would need payroll costs in excess of £3 million to pay the Levy.
BMet is creating a partnership board with employers who together, will develop Apprenticeships and training programmes to tackle local skills shortages and improve workforce diversity.