Government financial support for training and development 

 The pandemic has impacted businesses across the UK – and the world  and the economy may take many months, if not years, to recover.  

 This means that income and profits have been impacted in many industries – and that, with furlough schemes and government financial support, there are many people unsure whether they can work, what hours they can work, where and when they can add training to their working schedule and what financial support is available.  

 As we end the second UK lockdown, and Government remain in discussions about future plans for tiered restrictions, locking down some areas, closing some kinds of business – and business is impacted by things like social distancing, mask wearing and the number of people able to meet indoors it leaves a significant number of businesses wondering how to survive, and how to protect their employees through the closure periods.  

We know that you want to support the mental health and progress of your employees, as well as protecting the income and overheads of your organisation. Through furlough periods Government have aided the financial support of businesses by offering grants, financial aid and furlough payments to employees; the agreement for those who are furloughed is that they cannot undertake any work tasks whilst they are furloughed – but you can offer training programmes to those who have been furloughed, or to support the team members who aren’t currently able to work in  your offices or in busy, face-to-face environments in your business.  

One way to support the cost of this training – which will not only see your team feeling more engaged, occupied and supported whilst their working schedule is impacted, it will also lead to improvements and development in the team post-Covid when working returns to a more ‘normal’ routine – is Levy funding.  

What is Levy Funding?

The Levy fund is an investment your organisation have already made; your Levy fund is a pool of financial support available to invest in the learning and development of apprentices in your industry. Apprenticeships – once seen as the blue collar qualification – have become increasingly popular for those looking to advance into management and leadership roles in white collar industries – and Management and Leadership Apprenticeships are something that the Management Apprentice team offer, supported by the Levy funding investments you’ve already made. 

Many employers received financial support for furloughed staff, meaning that businesses could protect themselves from the impact of economic crisis, but that has left many people afloat with little structure to their time, their career progress, and a lot of questions being asked about their future as weeks drifted by with no contact from their employer.  

We are, as mentioned, coming back out of the UK’s second lockdown, but with the possibility of it being extended, some businesses still unable to open to the public, many people still working from home and the chances of another lockdown being announced in coming weeks, we know that people need more than the promise that they’ll continue to receive an income, thanks to furlough schemes. For the sake of people’s mental health, structure, routines, mental and emotional wellbeing and potential for future growth, employment and career development, it’s important that employers maintain some contact, and support the needs of their team beyond the basics of an income and the hope that there will be a job to return to. 

One significant way that you can support those needs for your employees is to use this difficult time proactively; to offer employees the chance to train, learn and develop, to improve their professional skills and abilities, and to enrich their experience with your organisation. Making use of the Levy Funding you’ve previously invested, and offering leadership and management apprenticeships to the future leaders of your team, not only means that your investment is being protected and utilised, it also means that your employees see that you value them – now and their future potential – that you are willing to invest both time and money in their growth and job security – and shows that their current situation, forced by a pandemic to be very different to what you or they had planned for the year, matters to you, and you want to support their wellbeing.  

Training gives far more than skill development; it gives people purpose, routine, a structure and shape to their time away from ‘business as usual’ – it means that those who can’t carry out the tasks they’d usually be employed to do are still making use of their time, and are improving the work that they are able to do, adding depth to the skills and experience they bring to your team, and adding levels of insight and knowledge to your team.  

Those who are furloughed can’t work in their usual role, but are still able to train – which benefits both them and you as the employer, as you’ll get team members with more skills back into the workplace when the pandemic has passed, and those who aren’t furloughed but who have been impacted by changes in their role because of the new ways we are all expected to work can use the opportunity to upskill and advance their career.  

It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement, and one which needn’t cost you any additional outlay. If you want to learn more about the ways you can support your team through the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and ensure that they feel valued through a very challenging period in history, call our team to ask about the Management and Leadership Apprenticeships we offer – and let us help you to protect your organisation against the impact of employees feeling lost and disconnected. 

Contact us today to find out how our Apprenticeship programme could be the perfect solution for your team to navigate this difficult period.  Speak with our specialists on +44 (0)3300 241336 or email hello@managementapprentice.com

Levy funding investments will expire

In April 2017 the way that apprenticeships are funded changed, with the introduction of Levy Funding; those businesses which qualified invested these sums to an apprenticeship service account with the intention of using those funds to develop the skills and qualifications of team members – but, with little idea about what to do next, many have gone no further, unsure of how to progress, leaving the funds sitting and building as they ponder what to do next.

 

One thing many people haven’t factored in is that there is a cut off point for this money – that 24 months after the initial investment, the invested sum will expire. This means that your money – money which you have already spent through this investment programme, could go to waste, and you will no longer be able to access it for the education of your organisation’s apprentices.

As April 2017 is the earliest these investments could be backdated to, that means that April of this year is the point when many invested sums will begin to expire – and this could be what happens to your money.

To prevent missing out on the chance to benefit from the investment you have – as we said – already made, consider spending the funds which are building up in your apprenticeship investing account on our management apprenticeship courses, which will develop the skills and experience of your workforce; work with us to build the managers and leaders of tomorrow within your existing team.

For more information on the programmes, on how we handle the stress of the finances, and how our courses can enhance the skills, knowledge and professional expertise of your future leaders and managers, give us a call or download our guide, and let’s make the most of the investment you’ve already made, before it’s too late.

World of Learning; apprentice zone

Last week we were at the World of Learning event in Birmingham, where Toni Clarkson spoke in the apprentice zone about ‘Management Apprentice; a route to leadership’ – which saw a lot of people approaching our stand wanting further information on how we could help with Levy investments, apprenticeships and further development of future leaders.

Some images from the event are below – as you can see, we had with us some well-known faces offering their own insights into successful leadership; none other than Management Guru David Brent and Assistant (to the) regional manager, Gareth Keenan!

If you have any follow-up questions about the topics covered in Toni’s talk, or want further information on how to invest your Levy funding in management apprenticeships through us, give us a call on 03300 241336 or download a brochure directly and contact us here.

The event was a great way to meet many of you face to face, and we are looking forward to next time!

It’s never too late to be an Apprentice

Apprenticeships are something that many think of as belonging to the young – as courses that teenagers and young people do to train for their chosen career – but we’re here to tell you that professional qualifications are for everyone, including you.

At any age, at any stage in your career, an ILM Level 3 or 5 Diploma for Leaders and Managers is designed to be the next step up the ladder, expanding on your experience and existing knowledge and offering you a nationally recognised qualification in management.

Apprenticeships might be a word that comes with a stigma, bringing with it associations with young people, poor pay and dodgy practitioners offering certificates that don’t mean much outside of their own organisation – but those days are far behind us, and we can guarantee that the qualifications we offer are formally accredited by the ILM – the Institute of Leadership and Management – and no matter what industry you are in, the qualifications are a recognised and respected mark of your qualifications for any leadership or management position.

Not only that, but you don’t have to take a career break, or step down to a low-paid role to pursue the qualification – you can learn in-role in any leadership or management position, or in your current role in order to progress to a higher level, meaning you can earn as you learn.

You can see from our ‘how we do it’ page that we tailor your learning to your needs – shaping your course around the role you’re in or aiming for, and fitting your learning into your existing workload, making it fully experiential – i.e. you’re learning by doing, and are tested on what you’ve already achieved.

You can come to us independently, funding your own learning – or you can access the course through your employer, who can take advantage of the Government’s Levy Funding, which covers the cost of the training, and offers you access to professional support and training to further your career at no cost to yourself.

When you consider that the benefits of studying for the ILM Level 3 or 5 Diploma for Leaders and Managers include promotion, better understanding of your skills and position as a leader, and an increased ability to perform in that role, helping to further the careers of the team around you and improving the organisation you are employed by, and factor in that the training comes with wrap-around support, Levy funding and the knowledge that you can learn in the job you’re already in, improving your abilities and knowledge without needing to lose your income, apprenticeships suddenly seem very appealing.

Call us today on  03300 241336 to discover more, or download our guides for full details of the Level 3 and Level 5 courses.

Management Apprenticeship FAQs.

Q1. Do leading management and business schools, as well as professional management bodies, offer apprenticeships?

 A. The simple answer is yes! Two of the UK’s most influential professional bodies, the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) who accredit our programmes, now offer management apprenticeships. These are available in a range of levels, from Level 3 up to Senior Leader Master Degree apprenticeships, and can be studied at any age and any stage of your career.

Q2. I thought that an apprenticeship was something manual workers or tradespeople did – not managers?

 A. Perhaps, in years gone by, this was true – and apprenticeships were something those wanting to learn a ‘trade’ may choose over academic further education. However, this has now changed – and an apprenticeship is a great way to learn by experience, and to develop your leadership and management skills.

Q3. Can existing managers and senior managers study for an apprenticeship?

A. Absolutely. In fact, it’s been proven that the most successful management apprenticeship programmes are developed to combine experiential on-the-job training with online or classroom based formal learning and coaching, which helps to embed what has been learned and shows significant impact in the workplace.

Q4. As an employer I am concerned that offering apprenticeships to my Managers will give the impression they are only starting their careers in management, and imply a lack of ability…how do I overcome this?

 A. There may be some lingering misconceptions about apprenticeships, harking back to “traditional apprenticeships”. These days, apprenticeships aren’t for youngsters starting out on their career – and they are developed by training providers working closely with an employer, meaning the programme meets the needs of the organisation and includes in-role and off-the-job training and end-point assessments. This training is suited to anyone – no matter their age or experience – and tailored to meet their developmental needs.

Q5. We employ a technician who has asked us if they can study a Level 3 Management Apprenticeship. Is this a possibility?

A. If your technician is in a position where people report to them, or is working towards that scenario, then yes, an apprenticeship is entirely suitable and would help them to develop their career and the skills required for leading a team.

Q6. If I have an employee or manager in role, how can we manage the 20% ‘off-the-job’ training? We can’t have people out of the office for days at a time!

 A. Off-the-job training doesn’t require an apprentice to be away from the office for 20% of the time; this time is meant to be used for active learning, studying for the qualification, or face-to-face training – which can include job shadowing. Much of what is being learned can be applied directly to their role, benefiting the organisation as the apprentice studies, applying these key management skills.

Q7. What do you mean by level 3 or level 5?

A. The Level 3 Management Apprenticeship is designed for those beginning their leadership career; this is tailored for line managers, team leaders or supervisors. Level 5 is designed for those with more experience, and applied at a higher level – i.e. an operational, departmental or regional manager.

 

Q8. How long will it take to complete a Management Apprenticeship?

 A. The programme must be a minimum of 12 months, often up to 24 months, which means it’s a significant commitment from the apprentice themselves and from their employer organisation. The workload includes training sessions, assignments, projects and assessments throughout the programme.

Q9. It sounds great – but how can we be certain that it will deliver a return on our investment if we commit to a management apprenticeship?

A. It takes time to change the culture of any organisation – and to guarantee success, every level of your business and senior management will have to commit to the process, developing and reinforcing a culture of learning and development in your organisation.

Apprenticeships open doors for this culture, and demonstrate the vital importance of Learning and Development initiatives, and benefit the organisation long-term as people feel supported, learn and apply new skills, and perform better in-role as a result.

Call today on 03300 241336  or explore our ‘what we do‘ page where you can download full brochures about each course, and learn more about the Apprenticeships we offer.