And now we have the game-changer: the Apprenticeship Levy!
From April 2017, large employers, including Sweco, will pay an apprenticeship levy of 0.5 per cent on annual pay bills. Whether you agree with the levy or not, it is clear this policy will deliver a massive change for the larger UK businesses. As we are paying in, it is crucial to see how we can get a return, which is why we need to think about how to deploy apprentices here at Sweco.
Apprenticeships are jobs with training and provide an alternative and, for some, a more appropriate route into a chosen career. They combine both vocational training and academic learning. A key benefit for apprentices in these days of £9000 tuition fees in England is that they can earn while they learn.
Here at Sweco, we see apprenticeships as a way of building and retaining talent and of injecting dynamism and enthusiasm into our organisation. At the end of the Sweco apprenticeship, if the apprentice has reached the required standard, they will be awarded an apprenticeship certificate and at least one professional, industry or educational qualification as part of their training.
Within the Transportation team in Leeds, we have had a hugely successful apprenticeship programme in place for a number of years now. Our Sweco apprentices have achieved NVQ and BTEC Level 3 in Construction and the Built Environment (Civil Engineering), and upon completion have then advanced onto a Higher Apprenticeship where they study for HNC and HND in Civil Engineering. They have also been involved in major projects during their apprenticeship and have gained valuable experience which is now being utilised by our clients.
The aspiration for the business is to embrace the Apprenticeship Levy and adopt a similar programme to the successful Transportation South scheme across other offices and expertise areas. Could you recruit an apprentice?
If you would like more details on apprenticeships or the Apprenticeship Levy please speak to Neil Willis.
Neil Willis, Learning and Development Business Partner