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Apprenticeships and Using the Levy

Why are we talking about apprenticeships?

The green space sector needs to bring new people into the sector but struggled to match what they want in a person and the skills they need. Apprenticeships enable people to work and train at the same time. They are also a requirement under some public contracts – as well as the ‘apprenticeships levy’ forcing larger businesses to either make use of apprenticeship training or lose the money they have paid in. The Hub sees improving apprenticeship access and experience – and the breadth of organisations offering apprenticeships – as a great way to widen the talent pool and keep the levy in the sector. The Hub is facilitating SMEs to access apprenticeship funding for the first time in partnership with the LPC and working with Capel Manor as they make their own future plans.

To discuss this topic and share their insights in the first of the Hub Sessions, we were joined by Anna Ambrose, Founder & Director of LPC, and Ingrid Dick, Head of Apprenticeship & Business Development at Capel Manor.

View the video below or read on for a summary!

diverse jobs, diverse people

Who is LPC?

London Progression Collaboration is a not-for-profit initiative that supports businesses to create new apprenticeship opportunities for low-paid Londoners. A key way they do this is to transfer unspent levy funds from large businesses to make them available for small and medium sized businesses – and even micro businesses! So far, LPC has deployed over £15 million of unspent levy funds pledged for transfer to communities.

Who is Capel Manor?

London’s only specialist environmental college, offering full and part-time courses in further and higher education for school leavers and adults.

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a form of on-the-job training where individuals learn a trade or profession through practical experience and guidance from a skilled mentor. It combines hands-on work with classroom instruction, providing a pathway to develop skills, gain qualifications, and transition into a specific career field.

Why is it beneficial to employers?

Apprenticeships are beneficial for employers because they get to train people to fit their organisational needs, standards and culture. Employers save money on hiring and get competent and knowledgeable workers. Apprentices are typically grateful to the organisation that has invested time and resources in training them, which fosters employee loyalty and retention.

What support is available to employers?

  • Financial – SMEs can receive levy transfers with help from the Hub and LPC.
    • Levy paying organisations can transfer their levy to SMEs. This represents free training money to the SMEs for your staff. The LPC is experienced at supporting SMEs from first interest through to successful apprenticeships. 
  • Admin – LPC will help new employers get up and running including choosing apprenticeships standards, registering with the apprenticeship scheme and choosing a training provider.
  • Management training for apprentice supervisors provided by LPC.

Green Space Cohort

If there is sufficient interest, we intend to take a cohort approach – with the group of employers jointly deciding the training they want (supported by LPC) and approaching training providers to purchase together. The aim is that the group of apprentices then go through their standards together and form a peer network, including hosting the group in turn to provide information and additional learning. This cohort can be from any employer – whether in receipt of a levy transfer or a levy payer themselves.

What level?

This can be at any level, but the Hub is thinking of focusing this on two key points: entry-level and management progression. In qualifications terms, this would be Level 2/3 and Level 5. There are a range of potential apprenticeship standards to choose from.

Free management training for apprentice supervisors

In addition, we have heard from employers that there can be a skills gap in management at supervisor level, and we also want to recognise that supervisors are investing in their team and could feel the benefit of being invested in themselves. The LPC will therefore offer SMEs within the cohort free one-day management training for entry-level apprentice supervisors. Levy payers are welcome to take additional places on this training, but can’t be offered the free places at this point.

What is the Levy and who pays it?

The apprenticeship levy is a government initiative that requires certain employers to contribute a percentage of their annual payroll to fund apprenticeship training. The funds collected are then used to support the costs of apprenticeship training across various industries.

  • SMEs don’t pay 
  • “Through our Reskilling the Recovery campaign, the London Progression Collaboration is delivering a highly successful levy transfer brokerage and support service for Greater London employers.” – LPC website
  • LPC can help SMEs know whether they are eligible for a levy transfer

Do you have apprenticeships you want to promote?

Get in touch with our Employment Liaison team to share your green space apprenticeship on our jobs board.