Apprenticeships costs reduced for Staffordshire’s small businesses

Stoke on Trent College has announced that many businesses across Staffordshire and Cheshire can now save up to £1,350 on the cost of training an apprentice, following funding changes announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond in his Spring Statement.

The changes will come into effect on 1st April 2019, and it is hoped that the reduction in costs for small and medium sized companies will result in more apprenticeship opportunities being created.

Kevin Smith is director of apprenticeships at Stoke on Trent College. He explains: “The government has halved the rate that non levy employers have to contribute to the training of their apprentices.

Employers with a wage bill of less than £3m are known as ‘non-levy’ companies. For the last couple of years, these companies have been asked to pay a 10% contribution to their apprentice training, which could be anything from £250 per apprentice, to £2,700 per apprentice for higher level qualifications.

The contribution will now drop to 5% from 1st April, which means that the remaining 95% of the training cost is covered by government funding. This is great news for local employers who want to either recruit new trainees into the business as apprentices, or train existing staff.”

He adds: “To give an idea of the savings involved for non-levy employers, a level 3 business administration apprenticeship is worth £5,000 – but the employer will now only pay £250 of that cost. For a brickwork level 2 apprenticeship worth £9,000, the employer will pay £450. And for a high-end apprenticeship requiring a lot of technical training – such as gas engineering operations, non-levy employers will be able to receive £27,000 worth of training for their apprentice, for an investment of just £1350.”

Apprenticeships are available for employees of any age, in more than 40 different subjects, from business, accounting, IT and management, to various construction trades, scientific, health, care and early years, hospitality, facilities operations, hairdressing, sports, activity leadership, engineering and motor vehicle.

Kevin Smith concludes: “Stoke on Trent College has a strong track record for apprenticeship programmes that are responsive to employers’ needs. In a national survey of more than 52,000 employers, we came in the top 6% for high levels of employer satisfaction, out of 1,459 colleges and training providers.”

The College provides a full recruitment service and free training needs analysis for any employers considering taking on an apprentice.

For more information about Apprenticeships at Stoke on Trent College, visit stokecoll.ac.uk or email business@stokecoll.ac.uk

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