The Department for Education and the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) are encouraging large employers to sign up and register for the apprenticeship service, before the launch of the apprenticeship levy on 6 April 2017.
The apprenticeship service is an online digital system (similar to online banking) that has been set up to support the apprenticeship levy (which will require employers, with a wage bill of over £3m a year, to pay 0.5 per cent of their wage bill into the apprenticeship service).
The online service then allows these employers to manage the finances of their apprenticeship programme by helping them to estimate their spending and to recruit apprentices through their training providers. It promises to help employers:
- focus on their business priorities.
- address skills shortages.
- invest in the skills and training they need to succeed.
“Nobody understands the skills employers need better than the employers themselves and that is why we are placing them in the driving seat, to ensure they get the talent they need to grow,” said apprenticeships and skills minister Robert Halfon.
“I have tried the new service and am impressed with how easy to use it is. All you need to do is set up an account, so I encourage employers to do it now so they can be ready for the levy coming later in this year.”
To register, levy-paying employers need:
- their Government Gateway login details for PAYE schemes they want to include.
- the details of each organisation that will be reaching an agreement with a training provider for apprenticeship training, including its Companies House or charity number.
The Chartered IIA is supporting a consortium of employers in the development of an apprenticeship scheme for internal audit. It believes that a dedicated apprenticeship for internal audit will strengthen the profession, offering a new route into the career and enabling companies to shape their own internal audit workforce. The initial “Expression of Interest” will be submitted to the government in April. Comment from interested parties will then be sought via an online survey before standards are developed for the apprenticeship.