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People 1st helps employers ‘stay on top’ of apprenticeship changes

The countdown to the introduction of the apprenticeship levy has started and People 1st is pleased to announce the creation of its Apprenticeship Network, providing expert insight and guidance to member businesses interested in keeping ahead of the curve on apprenticeship reform and the introduction of the levy.

The introduction of the apprenticeship levy in April 2017 will bring significant change and additional cost to businesses across the visitor economy. Although new apprenticeship standards, designed by employers, put businesses in the driving seat, a significant amount of detail on the new apprenticeship system has yet to emerge.   

Having worked on behalf of six employer-led trailblazers to design new apprenticeships and engaged with government on their behalf, we understand the challenges that face businesses in understanding the detail around the changes and ensuring their levy contribution makes a positive return.  

Lloyd Thomas, group apprenticeship academy manager for The Co-operative Group, said: “People 1st have done a fantastic job, working with leading employers across the visitor economy, to ensure that the new apprenticeship standards and assessment plans are fit for purpose. Having worked closely with them throughout, I know, first-hand, that membership in the network will prove invaluable to employers.”  

People 1st’s network, now open for membership, has been created to help companies stay on top of the changes and gain valuable insights from our apprenticeship experts.  It will also provide a unique opportunity for businesses to share experiences and collectively overcome issues in preparation for the introduction of the levy.   

“There are many issues to iron out before the levy is introduced and I’m confident that the network will provide significant practical benefits to help employers prepare,” said Therese Procter, people director, Tesco Bank  

Member benefits will include access to a broad range of up to date information and insight, including:
·         quarterly network meetings at which People 1st’s experts will review the latest news and developments in apprenticeships
·         updates and analysis on the latest information as it emerges from government and other organisations on the implementation of the levy, and new apprenticeship system, procurement, apprenticeship delivery and assessment
·         webinars and events supporting businesses to ensure they understand the basics and what they need to do next
·         members’ only support materials
·         access to People 1st’s apprenticeship consultants  

Simon Tarr, chief executive of People 1st, commented, “The People 1st Apprenticeship Network will support businesses to face the challenges surrounding implementation of the new system, minimise the potential disruption to their businesses and focus on how apprenticeships can effectively improve performance.  There is no other organisation in the visitor economy sector that combines our expertise and independence, both of which we believe make the network an attractive proposition for employers.”     

“Network membership is open to any visitor economy business,” Simon noted, “although we believe it will be of particular interest to larger businesses with dedicated individuals or teams who are responsible for implementing apprenticeships.  Smaller businesses may  

derive greater benefit from our apprenticeship consultancy service, through which some of our clients will be able to access network membership.”

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