With HMRC due to apply a 0.5 per cent levy on all UK businesses with an annual payroll in excess of £3million and a new scheme to administer apprenticeship courses from 1st May, hiring trends are likely to be impacted. 48 per cent of businesses already say apprenticeships provide a great way to get people into their industry, while 27 per cent say apprentices are necessary to help their business grow.
Under the new scheme, employers will be able to continue to train apprenticeships themselves and will have access to registered education and training providers. With a levy applied to all businesses of a certain size, apprenticeships will be offered across all sectors of the economy at a growing number of levels.
Of 2,200 jobseekers surveyed, 36 per cent would consider an apprenticeship and 49 per cent would consider a Degree Apprenticeship in next five years. Apprenticeships have long been recognised as a crucial way to develop the skills wanted by employers. Rising tuition fees may have influenced the 34 per cent of jobseekers who would choose an apprenticeship over going to university.
Furthermore, 30 per cent of businesses say the amount of apprentices they plan to take on between July 2016 and 17 is higher than in previous years. Only 9 per cent are taking on less – therefore three times as many businesses are taking on more apprentices than less.
John Salt, director, totaljobs said: “Apprenticeships have long been recognised as a key way to develop the skills needed by employers and the government has stated their intention to have 3 million apprentices in the workplace by 2020. The introduction of the Levy in the coming weeks may bring challenges for some employers but will also provide businesses with a good opportunity to take stock of their hiring and training strategies.
“We’re seeing increasing evidence that employers are acutely concerned by widening skills gaps throughout their organisations and their wider industries. Growing talent among the next generation, and helping people to transition their skills into new careers through apprenticeships is one way we can lay a strong foundation for ongoing jobs growth.
“Our research shows a clear and growing desire among jobseekers to take advantage of these opportunities. Employers understand the skills, knowledge and behaviours that they require to sustain and grow their businesses and we will play our part by showcasing their offering to prospective employees. A new Courses Hub on totaljobs will list apprenticeship training providers and courses, to help match jobseekers with the jobs they want at the companies they want to work for.”
Anouska Ramsay, Talent Director at Capgemini UK, providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services added: “For us, we see the introduction of the Levy as a way of re-shaping the skills in our workforce and allowing us to think more comprehensively about our talent pool.
“As people today tend to have multiple careers, apprenticeships are no longer confined just to school-leavers. The opportunity is now there for those at any stage in their career to realise their strengths and re-skill in a new direction. This includes enabling those within our organisation, those moving jobs and those re-entering the workforce, such as women returning from maternity leave wanting to pick up the digital skills that are increasingly in demand in today’s workplace. We see the Levy as an opportunity to unlock the potential of people from talent pools we haven’t recruited from yet, and to make sure our workforce is equipped on an on-going basis with the skills we need”.