10 Aug

Apprenticeships in travel

The impact of the levy for small and large businesses and meeting the 20% off the job training requirement

On 26 July ABTA ran its first HR and Training Focus Group. The session was attended by HR and Learning and Development professionals who spoke openly about the challenges they face in setting up and developing their apprenticeships programmes and meeting the 20% off the job training requirement.

Introduced on 6 April, all employers with a pay bill in excess of £3 million are now required to pay a levy of 0.5%. Many companies already have an apprenticeship programme, with larger companies taking on hundreds of apprentices per year. Many SMEs also have smaller apprenticeship programmes. The majority of levy paying employers who do not currently have an apprenticeships programme are now planning to introduce one.

For those not required to pay the levy, the funding for apprenticeship training is still changing and they will be eligible for funding.

Apprenticeships are an excellent opportunity to cultivate young talent and develop their skills to spend a full career in the travel industry. For businesses, apprenticeship programmes can provide the skilled workers they need for the future, aiding company growth and addressing any skill gaps.

Challenges include poor Maths and English standards in some applicants and a need for more awareness raising within schools to boost uptake. Industry also still await news on the appointment of end-point assessors and specific details around the 20% off the job training requirement from the Skills Funding Agency e.g. what does the 20% look like in practice?

Companies have plans in place to meet the 20% off the job training requirement, including training days and industry events, classroom based training, 1:1 coaching, online training and enrichment days.

Vicki Wolf, ABTA’s Education Partnerships Manager, facilitated the session. Vicki represents ABTA on the Apprenticeships Board and will be moderating ABTA’s Apprenticeships conference on 1 November in London. The conference will look at the implications of the employer levy and drawing down funds through the digital apprenticeship service. The event will demonstrate best practice for setting up and embedding successful apprenticeship programmes, for businesses of any size.

You can find full details about ABTA’s Apprenticeships conference here.