Editor's message: Organisations will benefit from a competitive advantage if they develop their workforce - from apprentices through to future business leaders.
Access to learning and development opportunities not only enables employees to improve their knowledge and skills, but can also increase their engagement. It can also be a useful tool in retaining staff in a time of skills shortages and a strong labour market.
Investing in learning and development to remain competitive, or to implement a specific initiative such as a programme of leadership development, are key reasons for organisations to increase spending in this area. For organisations seeking to cut back on training spend, there are alternatives to simply reducing the output of their training activities - including making more use of online and informal learning methods.
Whatever the learning and development initiative, don't forget to pay attention to the most appropriate method of learning delivery, and evaluate the outcomes to ensure that your organisation receives value for money and meets business needs.
Rachel Sharp, HR practice editor
The government is to consider using "gender-neutral language" in apprenticeship standards to ensure women are not deterred from training for a career in traditionally male-dominated occupations.
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The government is in serious danger of making apprenticeships unaffordable for smaller businesses, with reforms urgently needed to curb the continued decline in apprentice numbers.
The government must rethink its approach to lifelong learning and ensure that it educates younger people for longer working lives, according to a report published today by the Lords Committee on Intergenerational Fairness and Provision.
Updated to reflect the reduction in the co-investment rate, the increase in the amount of levy credit that employers can transfer and the increase to national minimum wage rates, in effect from 1 April 2019.
The number of organisations being pursued by HMRC for apprenticeship levy underpayment has more than doubled in a year, as a growing number of businesses find it difficult to comply with.
Training providers have called on the government to remove the highest and degree level apprenticeships from the scope of funding in order to relieve growing pressures on the apprenticeship levy.
Employers are four times more likely to worry about how their apprentices dress for work than they would about graduates, a survey by the Institute of Student Employers has revealed.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to learning and development.