According to official figure published in the last two weeks the new apprenticeship levy is yet to increase the number of people being trained, and employers’ groups has said that the government had failed to act on mounting concerns about changes to the apprenticeship system.

However, whilst a lot of the concerns raised are valid it might be worth employers taking a step back to think about how you can get the best out of your apprenticeship programme.

To help you we have put together 5 tips for running a successful apprenticeship programme:

1. Set the tone at the top – the senior team needs to believe in it or else there is small chance of success. Similarly the organisation as a whole needs to buy in and accept that apprentices are an integral and valuable part of the business.

2. Get your recruitment right – It is essential that anyone involved in apprentice selection understands the apprenticeship scheme, knows the type of candidate and the qualities and competencies they are looking for, uses clear job descriptions to make good objective hires.

3. Get a strong training framework – Once you have recruited the apprentice the next important consideration is who and how they will receive the training to support the Apprenticeship. Remember, employers who pay the levy have the power to ensure that they receive the right service from the training provider (private, college or university) that they choose to provide the delivery of the education and learning part of the apprenticeship programme. Strong liaison between the employer and the training provider is absolutely critical.

4. Give apprenticeships opportunity – there is nothing worse for an apprentice to feel that they are just a number, or worse an inconvenience. Like all of us they need to feel valued and encouraged to develop their skills and use their training within the apprenticeship programme

5. Create a strong support system – This is of vital importance both for the organisation and the apprentice. Providing the right practical support and guidance to an apprentice will help ensure they settle in well, develop with your organisation and help contribute to the success of your business. Practical elements of support should include:

  • giving apprentices a clear outline of expectations and a safe supportive environment to learn and develop
  • encouraging them from the start to own and drive their programme targets and to seek regular feedback to self-assess their performance
  • up-skilling and developing line managers so they can coach their apprentice and act as a role model
  • putting a workplace learning mentor in place to further enhance the experience, adding and creating a proactive environment that builds on their eagerness, motivation and commitment.

In summary the above tips are some of the key considerations that employers should take into account when they are looking to develop apprenticeships that will deliver long term value for the business.

For more information contact The Leadership Team today.

 apprenticeship levy mythbuster infographic

The Leadership Team are pleased to announce a partnership with Michael Page Recruitment and Page Outsourcing.

PageGroup will be handling all of our client recruitment activities and we will be their outsourcing partner in Education.

PageGroup is a global leader in Professional services recruitment, specialising in over 25 core disciplines ranging from Marketing and Legal to Human Resource and Sales. Page Group recently launched its fourth global brand, Page Outsourcing which utilises the wide-scale presence and expertise of PageGroup and focuses both on supporting organisations experiencing transformational change, ranging from expansion, re-organisation and M&A’s (projects), and on organisations looking to simplify and streamline their recruitment strategy.

The partnership means that we can assist with business development activities, non-levy and advanced learner loan contracts and with making the most of the opportunities presented by the apprenticeship levy.

Working together with Page Group will mean we have an unprecedented capacity to tackle any recruitment challenge you are faced with, not least the complexities which training providers, colleges and universities face.

David Kitchen, Managing Director of The Leadership Team commented: “We are really pleased to announce our partnership with Michael Page Recruitment and Page Outsourcing. The Leadership Team are now the outsourcing partner for Education with Page Outsourcing College, University and Training Provider clients. Likewise all of The Leadership Team’s recruitment activities will now be handled by the professionals at Michael Page Recruitment. We look forward to a fruitful partnership that will benefit both organisations.”

For more information contact us at and someone will be in touch to discuss your Education recruitment needs with you.

In our last blog update we explored the following area of concern: what happens if the levy pot is overspent?

To support that, we have produced this handy info-graphic so that you can clearly see some examples of how much the Apprenticeship Levy costs different businesses.

apprenticeship levy infographic

It is fair to say that there is still a lot of confusion among employers about the mechanics of the Apprenticeship Levy. One area of concern, and particularly relevant to smaller levy paying employers, is what happens if the levy pot is overspent?

For example, those who are only paying a marginal levy might not have enough funds in their ASA account to cover the cost of training and assessment for all the apprentices they want to take on.

Just to remind you: only companies with a payroll of over £3 million will pay in to the levy, so for example if your annual payroll is £5,000,000 then you will pay 0.5% of anything over £3,000,000 – £10,000 – into the levy pot.

So what’s happens if you don’t have enough in your levy pot, as your training requirements are far in excess of the £10,000 in the above example?

Well the answer is co-investment – and this occurs when a levy payer simply runs out of money in their digital account (the pot).

The employer will then be able to use the model that applies to non-levy payers, meaning the employer will have to pay 10% of the remaining training costs to the training provider while the government will then pay the remaining 90%.

Below are some examples of how much the levy costs for differing size businesses:

Employer A: 1,000 employees, each with a gross salary of £20,000

Annual pay bill: 1,000 x £20,000 = £20,000,000
Levy applied: 0.5% x £20,000,000 = £100,000
After allowance* (Employers get a £15,000 fixed annual allowance to offset against the Levy payment) applied: £100,000-£15,000 means £85,000 Levy payment

Employer B: 500 employees, each with a gross salary of £20,000

Annual pay bill: 500 x £20,000 = £10,000,000
Levy applied: 0.5% x £10,000,000 = £50,000
After allowance applied: £50,000 – £15,000 means £35,000 Levy payment

Employer C: 100 employees, each with a gross salary of £20,000

Annual pay bill: 100 x £20,000 = £2,000,000
Levy applied: 0.5% x £2,000,000 = £10,000
After allowance applied: £10,000 – £15,000 means £0 Levy payment

Dear CEO,

A recent PWC article stated that there are four concerns that keep CEOs awake at night. They cited the concerns as, how to deal with globalisation and uncertainty; a lack of trust in their business or brand, the need to rethink the leadership model, and, tackling the talent challenge.

It is this final point I would like to draw your attention to as we all know that the competition for talent is getting fiercer and that skill shortages are a real hindrance to business growth.

You have a choice to either hire in new talent or look to develop your existing workforce. Of course, you may need to hire a specialist with skills and qualifications that you don’t have inhouse but very often our own staff have skills and expertise that is overlooked or, more importantly they have the potential to develop if given the appropriate training and development.

That training and development can be supported and enhanced by taking advantage of the Apprenticeship Levy. However, of the estimated 22,000 businesses that pay the levy, only half (50%) have actually set up the framework (nominal digital account). It could be that the information about the Levy is sitting in the intray of the FD or HRD but the clock is ticking.

Has your organisation set up it’s digital account? If not, perhaps take a look at our blog post on “What is the Apprenticeship Levy?

Few employers understand the huge range of training this could offer nor the financial benefits of taking advantage of the Levy.It is clear that there have been issues getting the message out there to employers about the new apprenticeships and the opportunities to develop the whole of the workforce. Hopefully this letter will help you in making the right decisions around your workforce development.

Wishing you a successful remainder of 2018.


The Leadership Team

The North East based growth specialists, The Leadership Team are promoting their Merger & Acquisitions department through listings on two of the UK’s top sites for buying and selling websites – Daltons Business and

The Leadership Team are growth specialists within the training and education sector whose mission is to help training providers plan, grow and sell their businesses and create value for the owners.

They have a specialist team of around 25 consultants who work with the training providers to help them be the best that they can be.

Check out the following links:

If you need more information or an informal chat with one of our specialists please get in touch via


At the Leadership Team we work with a variety of organisations to help them achieve their goals. Here is one example of an organisation that we offered support to in order to help them become an Employer Provider.


What challenge did the organisation pose?

The organisation wanted to become an Employer Provider.

What solutions did the Leadership Team provide?

  • We helped them in the process to become registered on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP), thus ensuring that they were eligible to deliver apprenticeship training.
  • We worked with the organisation and helped them put in place all of the training programmes.
  • We assisted them in putting together a Self Assessment Report (SAR) and Quality Improvement Plan (QIP).

What was the outcome of the service provided by the Leadership Team?

  • The organisation successfully obtained RoATP registration
  • The organisation is now able to deliver training as an Employer Provider.
  • All appropriate Quality Systems are now in place for the organisation.

The Apprenticeship Levy can come across as confusing and a little daunting if you don’t fully understand the details surrounding it. To help you gain a better understanding, we have put together an Apprenticeship Levy Myth-buster.

All businesses must pay the apprenticeship levy.

No, only employers that pay more than £3m in wages are liable to pay the apprenticeship levy. Levy-paying employers contribute 0.5pc of their payroll into a fund each month, which can be re-invested in apprenticeship training for their business. And for every £1 contributed, the government adds 10p. And also, if you’re an employer with an annual pay bill under £3m then you don’t pay the levy – but the government will still fund 90pc towards the cost of your apprenticeship training.

Aren’t Apprenticeships for 16 -24 year olds? I don’t want young workers, I need experience.

Not at all, anyone can start an apprenticeship at any point in their life, whatever their age, background or career level. With levy funds, employers can train and upskill their existing workforce as well as hiring new recruits. Also you can use the levy funds to train existing employees who hold prior qualifications so long as the apprenticeship they are taking is relevant to their role and the most appropriate way of progressing or developing their career.

Apprenticeships are no use to my organisation as we do not employ manual workers – we are a tech company.

This might once have been the case, however, apprenticeships are now available in over 1,500 occupations across 170 industries, ranging from nuclear, banking to cyber security.

I have to spend all my apprentice levy funds myself.

No not necessarily. You can transfer up to 10% to your supply chain.

As an employer it seems to me that the Levy will mean I have less control my training requirements.

The levy makes it easier for employers to choose apprenticeship training that best suits their needs. Funding follows employer choice and this is different from previous models and forces training providers to become more responsive to employer needs. Employers’ levy contributions are paid into an apprenticeship service account which allows them to choose and pay for apprenticeship training more easily. If an employer is in a group of companies paying the levy together, the group can collect their funds into a single account.

To find out more about the Apprenticeship Levy, click here.