With National Apprenticeship Week in full swing and Milton Keynes College looking forward to The National Apprenticeship Show on 13 and 14 March, this month is all about apprenticeships. Anna Clarke, Head of Apprenticeships at Milton Keynes College gives us an insight into the new Apprenticeship Reforms.
We are entering an exciting year in the world of apprenticeships, marking the transition from existing frameworks to new apprenticeship standards. With employers now firmly in the driving seat, the new reforms look set to take the quality and quantity of apprenticeships up a gear.
The reforms, which come into force in April 2017, will give employers more control over designing, choosing and paying for training, and for small to medium-sized enterprises there are now huge economic advantages to employing apprentices.
With 90% of SMEs paying just a 10% contribution towards the cost of training and those with fewer than 50 employees being covered 100%* by the government; there has never been a better time for SMEs to embark on apprenticeships.
As well as the financial benefits, all employers in England will soon have access to a new, easy-to-use digital apprenticeship service to help manage apprenticeship programmes, choose training providers and assessment organisations, and post their apprenticeship vacancies.
With constantly evolving requirements, it is becoming increasingly difficult for SMEs to recruit the right individuals into their business; something that the new apprenticeship standards aim to address. In shaping their own apprenticeships, employers can ensure they are meeting the needs of their business, whilst at the same time providing high quality training and qualifications for apprentices, whether it’s a first step on the career ladder or progression in their current role.
Apprenticeship standards are available from entry level right through to senior posts, enabling individuals to gain significant skills and qualifications, at the same time as learning and experiencing life in a corporate capacity. This will ultimately improve future employment opportunities and provide longer term prospects for both the employer and apprentice.
Milton Keynes College has over 25 years’ experience of delivering high quality programmes to a variety of businesses across multiple sectors. It has invested in first-class facilities and a dedicated apprenticeship team, which provides a bespoke service to businesses, as well as helping to meet the individual training needs of employees.
For further information about the Apprenticeship Reforms and opportunities available at Milton Keynes College, visit us at The National Apprenticeship Show on 13 and 14 March at Arena MK http://www.nationalapprenticeshipshow.org/midlands/want-to-visit/ or visit www.mkcollege.ac.uk/apprenticeships.
*The government is offering organisations with fewer than 50 employees 100% of the training and assessment costs for apprentices aged 16 to 18, or for those aged 19 to 24 formerly in care or with a local authority education, health and care plan.