Use the Apprenticeship Levy to generate more revenue
The Apprenticeship Levy hit businesses in April this year and it would be fair to say it went down like a lead balloon with many businesses. An extra cost of 0.5% of payroll is no laughing matter and some even described it as a ‘stealth tax’.
But could the Apprenticeship Levy actually benefit your business?
However, now the dust has settled and people have been paying into their levy funds for a few months, the benefits are becoming clearer. The levy money is not taken, but rather set aside to be used for a specific government priority: apprenticeships. It’s not mechanics and hairdressers anymore; it’s business professionals and IT experts among many other roles. So, basically the government is forcing the hand of businesses to invest in staff training.
Which apprenticeships should you be looking at?
Well, let’s take this back to basics. What generates business revenue? Increasing margins, sustained growth, making deals and partnerships, and a strong sales function.
And what could damage your business’s prosperity? Poor customer service, bad planning, narrow margins, weak sales, low productivity and bad management, to name just a few!
For us this leads naturally into a recommendation to invest any training funds into people who can help you to strengthen and protect these crucial business operations. So the first step would be to take stock of your current resource. Are your sales team performing? Could you benefit from more business development or customer service staff? Or perhaps there’s that one manager who isn’t getting the best out of his team?
Here are a few apprenticeships which might be of interest…
We've all experienced a bad manager in our time and some of us were unfortunate enough to be managed by one. It doesn't matter how competent someone is in their role, without the proper skills and training they're unlikely to make a successful leader. The Team Leader apprenticeship is designed to build, develop and enhance all the essential leadership skills.
UK productivity levels have been a concern for some time and are under increasing scrutiny in the current economic climate. This is a time when managers with operational responsibilities are under enormous pressure to boost performance and deliver the maximum output for the security of the future of their businesses. The Operational Manager apprenticeship is a high level course, which will enable managers to achieve maximum levels of productivity and optimum output from their staff.
This exciting new apprenticeship empowers technical salespeople to sell proactively and with confidence. Pareto's acclaimed IT sales training is now partnered with CompTIA technical training (CompTIA are the leading and trusted voice in the IT industry) to deliver this winning combination of technical and sales insight.
We’ve all had that frustrating phonecall with an unhelpful bored-sounding call centre or visited a shop to find they know nothing about their own products. You’ve probably also made a grumble to a friend, or if you’re really peeved gone on TripAdvisor or Google to write a scatching review. This is the risk posed by poor customer service. The Customer Service level 2 apprenticeship course will ensure that your customer-facing staff left the best possible impression on your customers, protecting your brand reputation.
These are just a small selection of the hundreds of new apprenticeship courses on offer and besides making use of your levy pot, they have a number of other advantages:
- Unlike most training courses, apprenticeships take place 80% on the job, meaning your learners are already applying their new knowledge directly to your business.
- Any written work for the course will usually be based around a project tailored to your business, meaning even the homework will directly benefit your business.
- As the new apprenticeships are delivered by training companies rather than education settings, the location of any ‘off the job’ training is far more flexible and often those delivering training will be able to do so at your premises.
- Anyone can receive apprenticeship training. While it will be a great tool to help bring in entry level staff, you could also offer apprenticeship training to any of your current staff.
There’s no doubt that the apprenticeship levy could bring tangible benefits to your business, however a painful sting it seems in the pocket. With the right mindset, businesses stand to benefit from a boost to their workforce.