The introduction of the apprenticeship levy has forced many big employers into a crisis of sorts over their recruitment programmes.
Larger businesses have to be sure that what they do in the apprenticeship area supports their long-term plans for workforce development at the very highest strategic and financial level.
With the levy payment live and compulsory, and the 2 year deadline for claiming funding back pressing down upon them, for big business the strategy must be right - and it must come together fast.
What does this mean for centres? For some, used to working with SMEs, it will require a major shift in how they currently define themselves. And, like their potential employer partners, they will need to adapt quickly to take advantage of the significant growth opportunities on offer.
Levy payers are often large, complex organisations. They have the added challenge of trying to align their business’s internal practices, culture and requirements with an appropriate apprenticeship standard. On top of that, they must be able to prove a return on investment.
With their wealth of apprenticeship delivery experience and in-depth knowledge of the standards, providers (especially local colleges) have a huge but limited opportunity to be the heroes levy paying businesses are looking for. By stepping up into the role of consultant, advisor and community partner they could partner with them to solve a big (and pressing) commercial challenge.
Pearson provide help and advice about apprenticeships including employer engagement. Contact us to see how we can help you talk to businesses about apprenticeship delivery.
*Women can be heroes too. (with thanks to Bonnie Tyler - 1984)