Looking to the Future: Why Apprenticeships Matter
It’s common knowledge in UK construction that the industry continues to suffer from a severe skills shortage. An aging workforce, coupled with fewer young people choosing construction, means the industry is in dire need of people with the appropriate skills.
According to Reuters, the UK needs to take on 400,000 new people each year to build all the new homes we’ll need. And YouGov Omnibus research reveals only 3% of young people aged between 18-24 have searched for a job in construction.
But the skills shortage isn’t just exclusive to construction. Many other industries in the UK are blighted with the same problem, from accounting and logistics to IT and engineering. The health and teaching industries are also suffering with major skills shortages too.
So what’s being done to address this issue?
Back in 2015, the UK Government pledged to create three million new apprenticeships by 2020. To fund this huge promise, the Apprenticeship Levy was introduced in 2017. The levy applies to all organisations who turnover £3 million or more and 0.5% of their annual wage bill must be paid into the apprenticeships fund.
Businesses who spend less than £3 million on annual salaries pay 10% of the cost of training an apprentice, with the remaining 90% being funded by the government. And if a company has fewer than 50 employees, all of the training costs for 16- to 18-year-old apprentices are funded by the government.
But according to BBC Business News, apprenticeship numbers are down. Last year the number of people starting an apprenticeship fell by 30%. So what’s going wrong?
The new apprenticeship levy has come under criticism recently, as many employers are confused over the new charge. But hopefully these difficulties are just teething problems and in time all employers will come to realise the vast possibilities offered by this scheme, rather than seeing it as just another tax.
Why Apprenticeships Matter
Apprenticeships can be a great option for both businesses and trainees. An apprentice has the opportunity to earn while they learn. This gives the them the best of both worlds — money in their pocket and a qualification in their chosen field at the end of the training period. This route can suit young people who don’t want to go to university and offers older people the opportunity to retrain later in life to gain the skills to do something new.
Investing in an Apprentice
Taking on an apprentice is a long-term investment. But moulding someone within your organisation allows you to fill any gaps you may have by training them specifically to meet your company’s needs; this will result in someone who’s a great asset to your business in the future.
Nurturing a new starter can also bring out the best in your other staff as they share their knowledge and experience to support your trainee to succeed. Taking on an apprentice can help motivate your whole team.
And don’t forget, investing in an apprentice (or two!) is a great way to do your bit for society. By providing learning opportunities, you’re helping to support the UK economy and helping to ensure tomorrow’s workforce is strong, skilled and secure.
Planning for the Future
All businesses need to look to the future and make sound investments to be successful — whether that’s investing in new staff or investing in new technologies to cut costs. And it’s important to consider longer term financial implications, as well as any immediate ones.
For the vast majority of businesses, the vehicles they rely on every day represents a key business cost. So how can you look to the future and reduce your costs?
By having trackers fitted in your company vehicles, you’ll save money on fuel and repair bills. A tracking system will also cut your insurance premium and help to deter potential theft. And thanks to 24-hour GPS monitoring and Phantom Insight, you can make sure your drivers don’t waste fuel or employ bad driving habits.
If you’re looking for ways to invest in your company’s future, call 0161 476 4050 to find out how a tracking system from Phantom can help you: www.phantom.uk.net