You may just have noticed the upcoming introduction of the apprentice levy! It seems to be dominating conversations on social media and most of the meetings and forums we attend at the moment, together with important changes to learning and skills strategies. We at Futureworks Yorkshire have been watching, discussing and debating continuously for the past year. We truly believe continued access to a shared apprentice service (SAS) is critical to many of our projects to continue to maximise the support for the high number of local apprentices that they would like to, and this concerns us. We have been seeking clarity on how we can continue to support our important ‘host’ employers and apprentices to offer our quality service and we have been discussing with many of you as well as those charged with implementing this change on a national level. These conversations have been fruitful and we are developing our ‘menu’ of services to continue to offer our apprentices, partners and customers. We hope to share more with you in our March newsletter.
We also had the opportunity to meet and discuss our thoughts and concerns with The Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, helpfully facilitated by Stuart Andrew MP earlier this month in Westminister (to whom we are extremely grateful). We were able to make it clear that Futureworks Yorkshire welcomes the Government’s commitment to providing more apprenticeship opportunities and the concept behind the apprenticeship levy but at the same time we (and others) need more clarity on the Government’s position with regards to the continued offer SAS’s can provide – operating as successful social enterprises and providing choices for young people and employers.
We had a positive meeting and the Minister was clearly keen and supportive of our social offer, the ethos and service we bring and wanted to know more about us. He has helpfully introduced us to some key people who are now working to help us with some of the points we raised and provide clarity. We will continue to share with you as we continue on this journey.
I think it is appropriate and important to share the fact we remain committed to delivering our service to all those who need it, we remain committed to the delivery of our quality offer to support the skills and employment needs of the construction and the built environment industry, and essentially continue to employ and support apprentices with all of their needs to ensure they complete their apprenticeship and have the very best opportunity to begin a successful career within the industry.
[Image: Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP]