Taking a Look at the Apprenticeship for 2020
The Richard Review on apprenticeships was published in 2012, by the British based American entrepreneur Doug Richards. It caught Government attention with his belief of the re-definition of apprenticeships.
It emphasised a focus upon industry standards and an endeavour to support entry into employment. Richard’s report viewed that all apprenticeships should deliver on a quality benchmark for knowledge, skills and behaviours offered as part of the scheme.
Based on recommendations from the Review the Government based its “2020 Vision” for apprenticeship training, laying a key stone for 2017 as the beginning of the apprenticeship levy.
Designed to help fund a record three million apprentice places by 2020, up from around 820,000 in 2015, the levy is the equivalent of a tax on larger firms payroll’s, but with visible rebates spread across the business spectrum.
The purpose of the levy is to invest in apprenticeship programmes, and raise additional funds to improve the quality and quantity of apprenticeships.
The apprenticeship levy paid by businesses can be accessed by all businesses including the payers, for funding apprenticeship training within their concerns.
The levy underscores the Government’s belief that investing in on-the-job training makes financial sense. It will be paid from April 2017 by firms with a payroll of £3million or more per year, at a rate of 0.5% of the gross payroll figure.
All firms whether their wage bill means that they pay into the levy or not will be able to claim into their digital apprenticeship account, and unless they are spent on apprenticeship training, HMRC will reclaim them.
The “2020 Vision” also includes efforts to change both the image and the mind set which accompanies some outlooks on apprenticeships. The “Get In, Go Far” publicity drive aims to promote the ideas that there can be success independently of university.
The announcement also takes in the fact that by 2020, the old apprenticeship framework structure will be replaced by Standards. These will be established by Trailblazers, groups of employers and industry experts, who will develop Standards for each sector.
The projection is for five levels of apprenticeships from the first, intermediate level, which leads to qualifications equivalent of 5 good GCSE passes, up to level six which is a degree at Masters level.
Given the crippling nature of student debt, the Governments drive to showcase that hands-on job experience and professional vocational teaching can rival, be equal to, or in some circumstances exceed university expectations and results, may well achieve its ambitious goals.