NILE, part of Progress to Excellence Ltd is adding its weight to a call to encourage employers across the UK to use apprenticeship levy funding to create business leaders of the future.
From school leavers to company executives, a nationwide pool of talent can be funded via the levy, enabling workers of all ages to benefit from training programmes and advance their careers.
Damian Burdin, Chief Executive at Progress to Excellence Ltd, explained: “Research by the Chartered Management Institute, conducted amongst more than 1,600 managers throughout the UK, has shown that our leaders of business are backing apprenticeships for people across the whole age spectrum as a way to address long-term employer under-investment in skills.
“Almost all of them – a figure of 88 per cent – believe the levy should be spent on apprenticeships for everyone, not necessarily just young people.
“As a nation, we have a massive talent pool of people ready to take on challenging new roles to not only further their own careers but also make the businesses they work for more successful.
“Apprenticeships are not just for school leavers, and the research shows that there is already a vast number of existing employees with years of skill and experience under their belts who are using apprenticeships to help climb the career ladder.
“This is what the levy is for – to upskill and create more leadership opportunities for everyone.”
The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) survey revealed that almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of managers questioned agreed that the Apprenticeship Levy was needed to increase employer investment in skills.
A huge number of business leaders – 85 per cent – believed new management apprentices would expand their talent pool while 84 per cent said they would create a learning culture within their organisation. A total of 73 per cent said they would increase productivity and 72 per cent said they would help staff retention.
Petra Wilton, Director of Strategy for the CMI, said managers and apprentices now using the levy had become advocates of the system and were beginning to reap business benefits. However, too many businesses were still missing out and awareness needed to be raised of how apprentices can work for all.
She said: “The apprenticeship levy should be seen as a skills investment plan and the funds used to invest in programmes for school leavers and existing employees. Businesses may not even be aware they can use the levy to train managers and leaders at every level.
“We now need more collaboration to ensure this support from managers for apprenticeships translates into a new way of training and upskilling their workforce.
“The broad scope of these new apprenticeships means we will see school leavers all the way to executives embark on apprenticeships that will advance their careers and benefit their employers.”
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