Apprentice Levy Event Blog

By Esther

The Apprentice Levy- Are you ready for the change?

HR in hospitality event Thursday 1st December 2016 (Esther O’Halloran)

Hosted at Café Royal

Annette Allmark, from People 1st has played an instrumental role in the development of the 18 new apprenticeship standards for the visitor economy industries, working with over 200 employers in their design. Her in-depth knowledge and experience has enabled her to support a number of leading businesses and stakeholders in preparing for the new standards and the levy. Some of the key messages from Annette were;
*There are no mandatory qualifications for the hospitality sector the training is far more flexible
*Levy comes into effect on 06 April 2017 for all employers operating with a payroll bill of £3m plus
*Employers can access their levy from their own digital account and the DAS (Digital Apprenticeship Service) 10% top ups will also be paid into here
*As employers we can decide what our workforce development strategy should look like and negotiate with training providers on how we spend our funds


Sam Coulstock, from Umbrella Training they are an Elite Hospitality Apprenticeship provider for London and South East working with some of the leading employers in the sector.  We have been at the forefront of supporting employers with the new Apprenticeship Standards and preparing for the Apprenticeship Levy, which comes into effect from April 2017. Key thoughts from Sam were;
*The new standards allow training to be far more flexible and creative, he shared exciting examples such as “The Culinary Club” educational visits to places such as Billingsgate Fish Market and Borough Market to get apprentices excited about food.
*“Kitchen Inspirations” YouTube video clips with top chefs (Cyrus Todiwala and Brian Turner) sharing dishes and getting apprentices to learn to cook them
*National Apprentice week is from 07 March 2017 and there will be lots of activity going on, including apprentice of the year award
*He also suggested we all need to work out our levy bill, talk to different providers, collaborate with each other and start to map out your current training onto the new standards. Why pay a training provider for training and induction you already do?
*Remember the levy is spread over 24 months of your payroll you do not have to use it in month one

Beth Aarons from Dorchester Collection –
Shared their experiences of the apprenticeship journey so far and helped us gain real understanding of what it is all about, she really demystified the whole process. Think of it as essentially paying a tax bill and work collaboratively with finance department to unpick what it means and how best to spend it. The levy can be harnessed to draw down from to fund your chef training programmes and will help you improve retention. You can use it to up skill existing team members. Use what we already do in training and mapping it to the standards is a good exercise. We can take control of apprenticeships in our industry. 

A question was asked what happens if they leave? It is possible to switch off an apprentice if they leave and switch them back on again with a new employer you do not lose the funds you have already spent on their training so far, or pay it back. Think of the bigger picture for the industry and building skills overall as a whole in our sector rather than just losing someone to the hotel next door!