The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) is offering free expert advice to car dealers in an effort to help businesses maximise use of their Apprenticeship Levy funds.
A survey conducted by the IMI found that apprentices typically generate a return on investment of between 150% and 300%, and usually generate profit within 12 to 24 months, but the organisation fears that confusion surrounding the Levy might be putting some employers off recruitment.
Now the Institute is pro-actively offering advice to help car retailers get the most from their Levy contributions in a bid to boost apprenticeship take-up.
Mark Armitage, the IMI’s head of external quality and assessment services, said: “With the continued confusion surrounding the Apprenticeship Levy, whether you’re a paying or non-paying business, its important organisations understand how they can best use the training funds to which they’re entitled.
“The IMI is, therefore, offering free expert advice to help organisations understand how they can invest their Levy or co-investment, using this to enhance the skillset amongst their business.”
In his annual Budget, delivered to MPs in the Houses of Parliament last month, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, announced a £95m increase to the Apprenticeship Levy, and an extra £90m of Government funding to enable employers to invest a quarter of their apprenticeship funds on people working for businesses in their supply chain (an increase of 5%).
He also took steps to introduce a new system for T-level vocation training and allowed smaller businesses taking on apprentices to halve the amount of co-investment from 10% to 5%, as part of a £695 million package to support for apprenticeships.
If a company’s total pay bill exceeds £3m per tax year, 0.5% of the total pay bill is managed by HMRC to fund the levy.
An additional bonus for companies paying into the levy is that the government is applying a 10% top-up to monthly funds entering levy paying employers’ digital accounts, for all apprenticeship training in England.
Armitage is keen to see as much of the money made available for training channelled back into the sector as it battles to address a well-publicised skills shortage.
Commenting on the findings of a recent survey into the benefits of apprenticeships, he said: “There is no question that apprentices deliver real value for businesses as a two year study undertaken by the IMI proved.
“The results found that apprentices typically generate an ROI between 150% and 300%, and usually generate profit within 12 to 24 months.
“Home grown apprentice-trained technicians invariably outperform market-recruited technicians, and this can reduce long-term recruitment and training costs.
“Employers must build apprentices’ knowledge, skills and behaviours based on targets they want them to achieve, and this will help them to see higher completion rates and a higher number of apprentices retained in their business.”
The IMI is an Approved Assessment Organisation for Apprenticeship Standards in Autocare Technician (L2), Light Vehicle (L3), Heavy Vehicle (L3), Bus and Coach (L3), and Customer Service (L2 and L3) - and will soon be announcing further Standards that meet the new reforms.
Anyone who would like to access the expert advice on the Apprenticeship Levy should call 01992 511 521 or email email@example.com.