Productivity in the UK is 20% lower than any other G7 country and reversing that trend is a government priority. The Apprenticeship Levy is a policy that aims to train three million more skilled workers by 2020 to boost productivity and improve social mobility. 

The levy, which came into force in April 2017, is on on annual paybills in excess of £3 million and will deliver much-needed courses. Since its launch there has been confusion over who it is aimed at and who it applies to. Here we debunk five of the most common myths.

Aimed at school leavers and graduates.

Historically this may have been true but the age limits surrounding apprenticeships. Employers can use apprenticeships to upskill current employees or help them move career paths. 

Dominated by manufacturing and physical trades.

Apprenticeships have undergone major expansion, particularly in soft skills. There are now 200 schemes, with 50 pending, all commitment to upskill modern workforce and serve 1000’s of roles, through ongoing expansion. You can see the full list of apprenticeships available here.

Lack any industry relevance.

The old apprenticeship framework was written by educationalists with standardised learner content. Under the new standard apprenticeships are written by employers for employers and offer more flexible approaches to improve ROI for employers. Most of the standards have been created and shaped by trailblazer groups.

Losing too much of employees time.

With apprentices expected to take 20% of their time for off-the-job training, employers are concerned about ROI. In reality organisations have the flexibility to deliver training as they sit.

For example we at Randstad put new starts on a 5 day induction programme as part of our recruiter apprenticeship programme. We heavy load training at the start of an employee's time with us to avoid taking them away from the desk too often after they have settle into the role. You can tailor your apprenticeship to suit the businesses needs. 

We don’t fit the bill.

Only 2% of employers across the UK will hit the threshold to pay the levy. However, the government have agreed that non-levy payers can pay a 10% and the government will pay the remaining 90% to cover the cost of training and assessing their apprentices.