West Midlands’ employers are being advised by BMet to drive the standards and boost the value of apprenticeships in line with the forthcoming levy. An event hosted by BMet confirmed that employers will have more influence over how apprenticeships are designed and paid for so that they focus on the skills and behaviours required from future workforces.
BMet Principal, Andrew Cleaves commented: “With just seven months to go until the levy comes into effect, we encourage more employers to work with us to ensure that we can work together to realise the potential of the additional investment in skills in a way that benefits businesses, employees and the economy.”
Guest speaker, Sue Husband, director of the National Apprenticeship Service at the Skills Funding Agency explained how employers should be at the heart of designing new apprenticeship standards to be installed by 2020. A new Institute for Apprenticeships led by employers will also ensure the quality of all apprenticeships, including higher level apprenticeships in line with university undergraduate studies.
“From the moment the levy was announced, BMet engaged with employers to pinpoint the skills gaps that on the job training, classroom learning and assessments would resolve,” continued Andrew Cleaves. “We hope we have addressed employers’ understandable concerns about funding, supply chain potential and choosing the right providers to fulfil training needs.”
“Now is the time for businesses of all sizes to have their full say and really make apprenticeships the UK’s driving force for business development and economic growth.
“Colleges are in the best position to partner with employers on this because we have the expertise, commercial awareness and understanding to further develop training programmes to enhance the region’s skills portfolio.”
Sue Husband also provided an outline of the new digital apprenticeship service account for employers to access funding once they have declared their levy to HMRC. This funding can pay for the training and assessment of apprentices as well as their programme delivery.