Over recent years, a lot of attention has been given to the tech-sector’s skills shortage, with many CIOs reporting that they can’t find / afford the skills they require in the IT jobs market. However, the UK government’s apprenticeship levy could be on the cusp of transforming the price and ease of access to skilled staff for IT teams.
What is the apprenticeship levy?
Having come into effect in April 2017, the apprenticeship levy is a 0.5% payroll tax for private firms with a payroll worth over £3million. Public sector organisations pay a 3% levy. This tax can only be used on approved apprenticeship training. Any money not spent reverts to the government. In addition, each employer will receive £15,000 offset allowance every tax year.
The apprenticeship levy was designed to help the UK bridge the skills gap by building a sustainable workforce for the future in industries like IT, engineering, maths, and the sciences. The government hopes to improve the quality and quantity of apprenticeships and has targeted creating three million apprenticeships by 2020.
How will the apprenticeship levy affect the IT industry and tech employers?
The levy presents an opportunity to attract more junior staff, and to train school and college levers in digital skills and technologies, particularly in the desirable specialisms of cyber security and data science. Additionally, these young people will be more prepared for this type of training thanks to the new computing curriculum in schools.
Employers will be able to mould their apprentices in their corporate culture and the apprentices will benefit because their academic education (possibly up to degree level) will be paid for by their employers.
Levy funding can be used for current employees that may be looking to up-skill or change their role. Some employers are also using it to retrain people after they have returned from a career break. Therefore, the consultants in Crimson’s IT recruitment agency believe the levy can also bolster IT staff retention because it presents organisations with the opportunity to enhance and restructure their workforce development plans.
IT apprenticeships at Crimson
At Crimson we have run a successful IT apprenticeship scheme in our Birmingham headquarters for several years. The scheme has been placed at the heart of our recruitment strategy as we believe in building skills for our long-term future. Find out more about the scheme and Crimson’s academic partnership with Digital Native by watching the video below.
If you would like to apply for one of Crimson’s IT apprenticeships, click here and submit your CV via the webpage.