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posted 30/04/2019 - 11:11
On the surface, the Apprenticeship Levy is an admirable initiative. Any employer with a wage bill over £3 million per annum must set aside an equivalent of 0.5% of this sum to add to a fund to spend on an approved list of apprenticeship programmes.
And in many contexts, where staff work regular 8 hour days, it has a strong chance of making a significant difference to skill sets. But within facilities management, a sector that, for example, might employ a supervisor for three or four hour periods, it lacks the flexibility to make implementation practical.
“We welcomed the Apprenticeship Levy,” says Andrew Philpot, Managing Director of TemcoUK Facility Services, “It should be tailor made for a company like TemcoUK that bases its business model on high productivity through nurturing staff talent and use of the latest technology. Sadly this is not the case. We have explored many avenues to make it work in its current form but have struggled, because so many aspects just cannot be applied to our industry. A format that allowed us, for example, to use the levy fund towards in-house training tailored to our specific needs would be far more useful to a company like ours. ”
The Institute of Workplace Management (www.iwfm.org.uk), (IWFM, formerly the BIFM) state that the levy should help close the industry’s skills gap by providing guaranteed investment to develop the necessary skills. However the number of new apprenticeship starts in 2018 was 24% down on pre-levy figures with employers expressing confusion and frustration over the restrictions and inflexibility of the system.
The IWFM is continuing to engage with Government to ensure the implementation achieves its potential. They have serious concerns that the financial and bureaucratic failings of the Apprenticeship Levy will turn businesses away from investing in the skills the sector needs. In particular, they are seeking reform in two key areas: ensuring sufficient funding bands are available for the FM Apprenticeship Standards and increasing flexibility to use the levy funds on a wider range of training interventions.
TemcoUK supports any change that will make it easier for us to nurture, develop and invest in apprentices both now and in the future.
About TemcoUK Facility Services
Since 2001 Temco has been operating in the UK in a wide range of environments, from servicing the meticulous demands of medical clean rooms to daily office cleaning in commercial and industrial environments in both private and public sectors.
Combining professional standards with flexible management structures, the company prides itself on offering consistently high results alongside outstanding client service. Based in west London, TemcoUK Facility Services employs over 450 staff with a turnover in excess of £5m.