A leading apprenticeship provider, Reaseheath College is committed to ensuring that employers and potential apprentices maximise the opportunities and incentives on offer within the new Apprenticeship Service.

The Apprenticeship Service is central to the government’s aim of raising apprenticeship starts to three million by 2020. It provides a one stop shop for employers to access and engage with training providers, recruit new apprentices and manage their levy.

By using the service, employers can identify skills gaps and train their next generation of apprentices from entry to degree level. As well as boosting productivity, this will increase career opportunities for young people in some of the country’s most progressive and vibrant industries.

The Apprenticeship Service will be funded by a levy paid by all employers in England with a payroll bill of over £3m a year. There will also be changes to apprenticeship funding for medium and small businesses. Levy paying employers can reclaim their contribution through a digital voucher which can be used for the training and assessment of apprentices.

Reaseheath College is well positioned to support businesses in the use of the new service. Recognised for its strong employer links, quality training and excellent industry-standard facilities, the college currently trains 1,500 apprentices in the sectors of agriculture, agricultural engineering, animal care, construction, construction plant, food industry skills, horse care, horticulture, motor vehicle and sports turf.

Reaseheath Training, the college’s apprenticeship team, has a completion rate of over 80%, well above the national average, and works with leading companies such as HGV UK, Bombardier, A-Plant, JCB, Arla and Muller Wiseman plus small and medium businesses locally and nationally.

Its team of industry experienced staff include dedicated account managers who offer  businesses a free training needs analysis to identify skills gaps and existing workforce who would benefit from upskilling through an apprenticeship. They can also help employers to calculate their levy contributions and to access a free apprentice recruitment service.

The team is also holding regular employer seminars and events throughout 2017 for all sizes of business.

Says Reaseheath’s Head of Apprenticeships Sharon Yates: “We welcome the government’s positive approach to increasing apprenticeship opportunities and believe that providing employers with the purchasing power for apprenticeships is definitely the way forward, particularly for businesses in highly technical sectors such as engineering and food production and processing.

“Large employers who pay a levy will have access to a training budget, which can only be spent on apprenticeships, while smaller employers will continue to benefit from government funding for their apprenticeship programmes.

“This will drive up the potential for more apprenticeship opportunities and will, in turn, provide companies of all sizes with a highly skilled, dedicated and motivated pipeline of talent, ensuring their present and future needs are fully met.

“The new Apprenticeship Service is also good news for school leavers looking for an introduction into a well paid and satisfying career in some of the country’s leading industries. Apprenticeships are based on practical skills developed in the workplace, underpinned by knowledge training, and are appreciated by employers for turning out individuals who are work ready.”

To find out how Reaseheath Training can help employers and potential apprentices visit www.reaseheath.ac.uk/apprenticeships T: 01270 613221 E: apprenticeships@reaseheath.ac.uk