5 Things You Didn't Know About Apprenticeships

4 Minutes

Following the unveiling of the Apprenticeship Levy in April, a lot has changed in the world of employee training and development.

A new wave of apprentice programmes have arrived which aim to benefit businesses across their operations - from manufacturing to marketing, from accounting to the sales floor.

But how much do you actually know about the new apprenticeships and rules surrounding the Apprenticeship Levy? We've put together our five top apprenticeship facts guaranteed to have you uttering "hmm, I didn't know that" under your breath.

**Getting the sales pitch out the way** Pareto are one of the first ROATP approved (Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers) sales training companies offering a range of sales-based apprenticeship programmes which can be funded by your levy. To find out more or speak to our team of apprenticeship specialists, contact us today.


1. They’re not just for teenagers

Traditionally, apprenticeships have been seen as a route for school leavers to gain valuable on-the-job experience whilst working towards a qualification. But this isn’t always the case.

Apprenticeships are open to anyone between the ages of 16-65 – meaning they’re also a great option for:

  • Junior staff who want to learn on the job
  • Experienced employees looking to take a professional qualification in their line of work
  • People looking for a career change
  • Graduates whose degree is in a different field to their current role

Apprenticeships aren’t “junior” qualifications. There are several levels available with level 2 roughly equating to a GCSE and levels 6 & 7 comparable to a degree, meaning that employees of all ages and experience levels can benefit from the apprenticeships scheme.

Apprenticeships were previously unavailable to university graduates, however grads can now undertake apprenticeships providing the course is not a similar topic to that studied at university.


2. And they’re not just for aspiring hairdressers and electricians

Another common misconception is that apprenticeships are only available for “hard” skills such as building and construction, engineering or hairdressing and beauty.

This simply isn't true anymore. 

Following the introduction of the Levy, a new wave of apprenticeships are now being launched which cover a huge range of skills and industries – ensuring all Levy paying companies are able to get maximum value from their training budget.

Pareto’s new range of apprenticeships focus on a number of soft skills to improve your all-round sales performance – from building customer relationships to managing projects and communicating effectively.

To find out more about what you will learn on each of Pareto’s sales apprenticeships, visit our Apprenticeships section. 


3. You won’t spend all of your time in the classroom

One of the key differentiators between an apprenticeship and many other forms of training is the amount of time which students spend learning on the job.

Perfect for those who prefer to get stuck in rather than endure classroom-based tuition, many apprenticeships consist of between 50-80% on the job training.

This is a huge benefit to employers and employees alike, with the employee able to gain valuable experience learning within the working environment without having to spend extended periods of downtime away at college or learning centres.


4. The Government tops up your Levy payments

Since the Apprenticeship Levy was announced there has not been much publicity from the government about exactly how the scheme works and any funding support you will receive.

You will probably be aware that if your annual UK wage bill is above £3m, you are eligible to pay and HMRC will collect your Levy payments through PAYE.

You can then gain access to the funds by using your Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) account. You can use this account to manage your apprenticeships and make payments to your chosen training provider.

What has not been widely documented is that every employer is entitled to a £15,000 allowance on your total levy payments and that the government also provides a 10% top up on the funds in your digital account.

So for a company with an annual pay bill of £10m, your total apprenticeship levy amount payable will be £35,000 (0.5% of your annual pay bill subtracted by your £15,000 allowance) and your total to invest in apprenticeship training will be £38,500 (your total levy amount payable plus a 10% government top up).


5. You can still get huge subsidies – even if you’re not paying the Levy!

If your business is not affected by the Apprenticeship Levy, there are still excellent subsidies available to you for hiring an apprentice.

The government has committed to paying a massive 90% of apprenticeship costs for eligible employees, meaning you can still enjoy the benefits of hiring an apprentice irrespective of the size of your organisation.

You can find out more about eligibility and hiring an apprentice here.

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