A freedom of information request from Multiverse recently revealed there is currently around £111 million worth of apprenticeship levy unspent by local councils, enough to create more than 10,000 new apprenticeships. This means that unspent funds are being returned to Central Government each month as the 24-month period for spending them expires. Apprenticeships are a key tool to bridging skills gaps locally, to tackling unemployment, and to developing organisations. In the context of the Levelling Up Agenda and Covid-19 recovery, it is vital that local authorities use this funding effectively to upskill existing staff and recruit new staff.
This training course will help local authority employment and skills professionals to understand the apprenticeship levy scheme, how they can use their funding effectively, both through directly employing apprentices and through transferring funding to other local organisations without access to funding. Delegates will leave with a clear understanding of how apprenticeships can benefit their organisation and the local skills economy and will have the opportunity to design an action plan for improving apprenticeship provision in their local area.
Key learning outcomes:
- Evaluate the evidence on the importance of apprenticeships in developing the skills needed locally and driving growth in your area
- Gain in depth insight into the apprenticeship levy scheme, including how funds can be transferred to other employers, to make sure your area does not miss out on apprenticeship funding
- Discuss how apprentices can be employed within the local authority, and the kinds of skills apprenticeships are excellent at developing
- Understand how skills and training provision works in your local area, and the procedure for opening an apprenticeship position
- Learn how other local authorities have been using their levy to develop skills in their area
- Get to know the trainer and other delegates
- Clarification of learning objectives for the day
- Evaluate the evidence of the impact apprenticeships have on individuals’ skills and development, as well as on boosting local economic growth
- Discuss how building skills through apprenticeships can help to fill skills gaps in the local economy
- Understand how employing apprentices within local authorities can contribute to achieving local priorities on the skills system and address structural inequalities within the local area
- Understanding the apprenticeship levy scheme, the requirements for accessing funding, and how it can be used
- Exploring the Government’s plan for building skills through apprenticeships in the context of the ‘Levelling Up’ agenda
- Discussing the success of the apprenticeship levy transfer scheme for funding apprenticeships and plans to improve the scheme and increase take up of the funding
- Evaluate how apprenticeship training can be used in local authorities, both to recruit new staff and to upskill existing employees
- Explore how you might be able to incorporate apprenticeships into your existing offices, in functions such as administration or team leadership
- Understand how you can work in partnership to incorporate apprenticeships into organisations under your control (e.g, schools, regional councils.)
- Supportive webinars, updated guidance, K-Hub resources and MOT available
Apprentices represent 5.26% of Walsall Council’s staff and are in roles such as teaching assistants, finance and business support, customer service, or learning mentors. This session will dive into how Walsall Council has used apprenticeship levy funding to make this happen.
- Explore the approach to employment and training taken at Walsall Council since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy in 2017
- Discuss the procedure for setting up an apprenticeship in your organisation, from understanding which training is best suited for you, to recruiting an apprentice
- Discuss challenges you may face when setting up apprenticeship programmes. EG Procurement of providers and schools
- Discuss which professions apprenticeships have been most successful and what the council’s plans are going forwards
West Midlands Combined Authority has set up a £37.5m apprenticeship levy transfer scheme since April 2019 and was one of the first to develop the scheme with government and has won awards.
With 48 levy employer partners, the scheme has supported over 2500 apprentices within nearly 900 businesses across the West Midlands. This has been vitally important to encourage SMEs to continue to recruit when funding has been limited.
- Hear how you can create your own transfer scheme with ease
- Learn about partnering with other CA’s within your area
Sandwell Metropolitan Council, set up their own levy transfer scheme and partnered with the WMCA to support their businesses and residents who would not otherwise access apprenticeship funding, and develop skills locally.
- Understand how supporting apprenticeships throughout the Council’s area is contributing to Sandwell’s priorities and objectives for skills provision
- Discuss the Council’s objective in creating a flexible and inclusive skills system, and how investing in local apprenticeships is key to support local people into local jobs.
- Making sure that you have a team, OD/Employer Services in place to reach out to the local community to ensure apprenticeship levy transfer funding is well spent
- With support from the lead trainer, discuss how you might improve how you utilise your organisation’s apprenticeship funding
- In breakout rooms, discuss how you might improve apprenticeship provision in your organisation and make an action plan for improving provision