Are apprenticeships an untapped solution for your business?

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In the aftermath of COVID-19, many travel and tourism organisations are looking at creative ways to retain their top talent. Since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy and other government training funds, many organisations have realised the value of apprenticeship programmes in boosting skills, saving costs and reducing staff turnover.

Dispelling the myths around apprenticeship 

Apprenticeships are often surrounded by many misconceptions – e.g. they’re only for school-leavers, they’re only paid minimum wage, they take too much time out of the business, they don’t offer a ‘good’ qualification.

When in fact, apprenticeships are for anyone, at any age, at any point in their career. The qualifications range from Level 1 – level 7 (Masters equivalent) and are a great tool for upskilling and reskilling employees at any level or stage of their careers.

The Apprenticeship Levy

The Apprenticeship Levy is a 0.5% tax applicable to any organisation with an annual wage bill that exceeds £3m. They can then use these funds to offer development programmes to their employees. If the funds remain unspent, then after 24 months, it is returned to the treasury.

Did you know? Even if you don’t pay the apprenticeships levy, you can access up to 95% government funding for up to 10 apprentices per annum.

In a world of employee resignations and training budget cuts, the apprenticeship levy offers a solution which can retain people and save cost.

Since May 2019, £3.5 billion of the apprenticeship levy remained unspent.

  • £3.5bn that could go towards training new employees
  • £3.5bn that could go towards up-skilling current employees
  • £3.5bn that could increase engagement and retention

Recent research shows that ONLY 4% of organisations are spending their full levy amount on employee development, and the travel and tourism industry has been one of the lowest uptakes of the levy so far.

Grant Thornton’s apprenticeships journey

At Grant Thornton we fully utilise all of our apprenticeship levy, with 20% of our workforce in an apprenticeship at any one time, and we are ranked #10 in the top 100 apprenticeship employers. We don’t just use our funds to develop school leavers and graduates, we actively encourage all of our employees to develop themselves, even senior leaders in the firm.

Since the introduction of the levy in 2017, we’ve been on a mission to help our clients implement apprenticeships in their organisations, all whilst utilising the levy. We’ve partnered with a select group of high-quality training providers to co-design and co-deliver several apprenticeship programmes in:

Leadership and Management, Accountancy, Coaching and Data Analytics. 

The combination of Grant Thornton’s business expertise and commercial insights, together with our providers’ academic skills in delivering high quality apprenticeship training, means our unique programmes have an immediate impact.

We’ve trained over 6,000 apprentices from over 2,000 clients and helped them to optimise their apprenticeship levy, and they are now reaping the benefits of this and seeing a real return on their investment in areas such as improved performance, productivity and talent retention.

For further information on how Grant Thornton’s Talent Solutions team can support you, your employees and your business, please contact our People Advisory, Travel and Tourism lead – Sue Ledgard: