Housing organisations 'must start planning' ahead of new apprenticeship levy
Housing organisations must start preparing for the introduction of a new apprenticeship levy now, the Chartered Institute of Housing has said.
In May 2017 the way the government funds apprenticeships in England will change and any employer whose pay bill is more than £3million a year will have to contribute to a new apprenticeship levy. The final guidelines for the apprenticeships, including the funding arrangements, were revealed by the Department for Education this week.
The majority of housing organisations will be affected by the changes. They will have to pay 0.5% of their pay bill as a levy and will then receive an allowance of £15,000 a year towards training apprentices.
The levy is part of a wider change to the way apprenticeships are funded and provided which includes three new housing apprenticeship standards - housing/property management assistant, housing/property management officer and senior housing/property officer.
Vanessa Howell, head of professional standards at CIH, urged housing organisations to prepare for the change now and get clued up on the new apprenticeships standards.
She said: “We are concerned that many housing organisations aren’t aware of this change and the reality is they must think about it now to make the most of the allowance they will be able to access from 1 May 2017. Otherwise they could be in a position where they are paying a substantial amount of money for the levy and not receive any benefit for it.
“Only by preparing will housing organisations be able to make the most of the new apprenticeship standards which are specific to roles in housing for the first time. We need fresh, new talent in housing and the new standards represent a great opportunity for organisations to upskill existing staff and bring in new, young talent and give them the training they need.
“Housing organisations must make sure they are aware of these changes and put a plan in place for how they use the money they will be contributing.”
The final funding policy for apprenticeships was released on 25 October 2016. It includes adjustments that have been made following a consultation exercise.
The full details can be accessed here.