Editor's message: The Government is hoping that an increased use of apprenticeships will help to improve the UK's productivity levels and address skills shortages.
Apprenticeships are in-work training programmes under which the apprentice engages in on- and off-the-job learning and development activities that will lead to a work-based qualification.
As well as being a way of attracting school leavers to your organisation, apprenticeships can be used to develop the skills of your existing staff as part of their ongoing training and development. There are levels of apprenticeship available from equivalent to GCSE up to a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
A new funding system for apprenticeships, the apprenticeship levy, was introduced in April 2017. If your organisation has a paybill of more than £3 million you must pay the levy (set at 0.5% of the paybill), and employers that operate in England - regardless of their paybill size - can claim funding from the levy to pay for apprenticeship training and end-point assessment.
Rachel Sharp, HR practice editor
Although some organisations may be putting graduate recruitment and internships on hold to reduce cost, there's no reason why they should be postponed for practical reasons. Nicola Sullivan looks at how technology can allow new recruits to work, learn and meet colleagues entirely online.
The Government should improve communications around how apprentices should be paid, after it emerged that as many as one in three in some age groups are underpaid - often because of confusion around which rate they should be on.
Companies have been forced to scale down entry-level recruitment programmes as they make business adjustments due to the coronavirus, according to the Institute of Student Employers.
Organisations might find themselves in hot water if they wish to dismiss an apprentice and don't have a formal apprenticeship agreement in place. Natalie Flynn, employment law solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, looks at the protection they can bring employers.
About a quarter of the money made available for apprenticeship training has been relinquished back to the government, suggesting that some employers would rather treat the levy like an additional tax than use it to improve workers' skills.
We look at the challenges that local authorities face in meeting the public sector apprenticeship target, alongside the opportunities that apprenticeships can present for local government employers.
The apprenticeship levy system needs to be more accessible and transparent and standards need to be reviewed regularly if the scheme is to have a future beyond 2020, the CBI has suggested.
A quarter of HR and L&D managers have been let down by their apprenticeship training provider, indicating that some might be under-delivering on the promises they have made to employers.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to apprenticeships.