Chamber’s King’s Lynn meeting focuses on future of apprenticeships

Norfolk Chamber's breakfast meeting at Duke's Head Hotel, Lynn.
Norfolk Chamber's breakfast meeting at Duke's Head Hotel, Lynn.

Changes to the organisation and funding of apprenticeship programmes were outlined to businesses attending Norfolk Chamber’s breakfast meeting in Lynn last Friday.

From April the Government is introducing a new apprenticeship levy which will replace all taxpayer funding of apprenticeships for companies of all sizes.

The levy is set at a rate of 0.5 per cent of an employer’s wage bill, and will be paid through Pay As You Earn. All firms receive an offset allowance of £15,000, equivalent to 0.5 per cent on a payroll of £3 million and any employer with a payroll above this figure will be liable to pay the levy.

Mark Reavell, Executive Director for Partnerships at the College of West Anglia, took to the floor to and gave guests an in-depth overview of what the challenge from the government is and how to achieve it. He spoke about how the government wants employers and providers to grow the numbers of apprentices significantly by 2020. Last year the Government said it was committed to three million new apprenticeships by 2020, spending £2.5 billion to transform the country’s investment in skills.

A question and answer session which followed explained more about what the college can offer going forwards, and when is the best time for small and medium sized businesses to get started on hiring an apprentice. Afterwards guests said they were confident with their apprenticeship needs going forward with the support of the college.

Heather Garrod, President of West Norfolk Chamber Council, hosted the event and spoke about the chamber’s featured charity The Big C.