On 31st January Walsall College held the first of several Apprenticeship Levy events in which they plan to help employers who pay the Levy understand how they can make the most of their funds.
The Apprenticeship Levy is a training fund that is made up of tax accrued through 0.5% of a company’s pay bill. Employers with a pay bill of over £3m contribute towards the Levy and in turn, can utilise the funds to train new and existing staff. Levy funds expire 24 months after they are paid, therefore as the first instalment was in April 2017, Levy payers have until April 2019 to use those funds.
Representatives from Sandwell Council, Walsall Housing Group and the NHS, as well as several private sector organisations, attended the breakfast event which was held at the Hub, the College’s specialist sports, conferencing and events centre. Employers who attended the event were impressed by the passion and knowledge of the college staff and guest speakers, and found the discussions around the latest updates on the Levy very helpful.
The college’s Assistant Principal James Norris introduced the event, explaining recent changes such as the increase in the amount of unspent funds Levy payers can transfer to their supply chain from 10% to 25%, which will take effect from April 2019. James also went on to explain the West Midlands Combined Authority scheme, which will provide SMEs with potential access to £40 million through the transfer of unspent Levy funds.
Guest speaker Corin Crane, Chief Executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce talked about the ways in which apprenticeships can benefit local businesses, such as new leadership pathways for women, and a second chance at education for existing employees. Corin also reviewed various case studies within the local area, explaining how the Levy has led to more apprenticeships, as well as greater control over the quality of training within those companies.
Rachel Andrew, Head of Learning and Development at the Dudley Group of Hospitals, talked about changing the mind-set of managers within her organisation with regards to apprenticeships. Rachel also explained how this type of training can benefit employers as well as the personal development of individuals.
Following the success of the Apprenticeship Levy Breakfast, the college will be holding further events in the future, including a ‘Coffee and Cake’ Apprenticeship Levy event later in the year.
If you would like to know how to make the most of your Levy funds or find out more information on apprenticeships at Walsall College, contact the Business Training Solutions team on 01922 651129 or email firstname.lastname@example.org