Just one in four recruitment leaders believe the Apprenticeship Levy will help to attract and develop talent in the sector, according to a survey by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).
The findings which are reported in the trade association’s 2018 Market Survey also reveals that fewer than half (40%) are currently using their Levy funds, or planning to do so in the next 12 months.
This is despite the fact that last year the government approved the qualifications and funding of apprenticeships for Recruitment Consultants and Recruitment resourcers, meaning recruiters can now access funds from the Apprenticeship Levy to train their staff.
Commenting on the findings, Samantha Hurley, Director of Operations at APSCo said, “The introduction of the Levy last year was met with a certain level of scepticism in recruitment circles, particularly where some recruitment firms’ payrolls can be artificially pushed up by PAYE contractors, which has left companies paying higher Levies than their internal staff would warrant. However, there is a real opportunity to capitalise on the Levy that not enough companies are taking advantage of.
“For firms that are Levy payers, the cost of an apprenticeship comes out of the Levy pot and companies are entitled to £15,000 with the government adding 10% to fund apprentices for the business. Employers in England subject to the Apprenticeship Levy can now access funds through the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS), and this means recruitment leaders will be able to train and develop either new or existing talent through a funded apprenticeships programme.
“However, if they don’t spend their Levy fund within 24 months, they will lose it. Non-Levy payers meanwhile can make a 10% cash contribution to the cost of apprenticeships to upskill existing staff, and firms with less than 50 employees can now train 16-19 year old apprentices without making any contribution.”
“By offering apprenticeships, recruitment leaders can ensure their business, and the wider recruitment profession have the practical skills and qualifications they need to succeed, both now and in the future. While we can’t escape the Levy, we can certainly turn the initiative to our advantage.”