Investing in apprenticeships – how businesses are developing staff through vital Bradford College training

Employers across the region will be able to boost staff training thanks to a £60 million package of apprenticeship reforms and funding recently announced by the government.

Distributed to small employers, the funding will now pay the full cost of training for anyone up to the age of 21, creating fully funded job opportunities for over 200,000 apprentices.

However, many small businesses still don’t realise there is funding available - not just for new or junior team members, but also for existing and established staff.

Kelly McAllister, Head of Apprenticeships and Business Development at Bradford College, said:

“It’s incredible how often we hear from employers that they had no idea apprenticeship funding was available to up-skill existing staff, not just school-leavers starting their career. We even offer higher and degree-level apprenticeships, which are a fantastic way of amplifying in-house skills and retaining valued long-serving staff.”

Business benefits

Employers with an annual wage bill of over £3 million automatically pay into an apprenticeship levy and can access funds. Alternatively, they can now transfer up to 50% to smaller businesses that don’t pay the levy to assist them with training apprentices.

Kelly continued: “Despite this established process, billions in apprenticeship funding have been returned to the Treasury unused since the launch of the levy. This means there are potentially millions of pounds in unspent contributions paid by businesses that could be used to support the workforce.”

Prioritise your staff

Research proves that investing in staff pays off. A company that takes learning and development seriously is shown to:

– Attract higher-quality candidates as an employer of choice.

– Boost wellbeing, engagement, and productivity.

– Retain talent for longer and reduce recruitment costs.

– Maintain an internal talent pipeline and fill skills gaps.

– Help a company grow through clear progression routes.

– Be more prepared for the future.

– Be legally compliant with any mandatory skills requirements.

An employee development programme should be part of every modern business strategy.

Utilise your funding

The 5% contribution normally paid by employers towards the cost of an apprentice has now been scrapped, potentially saving businesses hundreds of pounds and supporting growth. Smaller companies with under 50 staff interested in funding can reserve this up to 10 times through their Digital Apprenticeship Account (required to recruit or register an apprentice).

Employers can link the funding to their selected college or training provider, which will go live on a learner’s start date. Bradford College supports employers who may need help creating an account or reserving funding.

An award-winning training provider

Bradford College has over 30 years of experience delivering apprenticeships across many industries and sectors. It supports up to 1,100 apprentices a year in small, medium, and large organisations across Bradford and the wider Leeds City Region.

For the last two years, Bradford College has been awarded ‘West Yorkshire Apprenticeship Training Provider of the Year’ at the West Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards and is this year’s headline sponsor. The College boasts a roll-on roll-off curriculum, so apprenticeships can begin at any time.

Bradford College offers professional services apprenticeships in Business Administration, Customer Service, and Team Leader and Management. The College also offers industry-specific apprenticeships such as in healthcare, construction, engineering, dental, motor vehicle, early years, and teaching.

Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs)

Bradford College also offers a range of full and part-time Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs). These professional qualifications are ideal for adults already on a career path but who want hands-on training to progress at work or switch direction completely. They can even lead to a degree. HTQs include the Higher National Certificate (HNC), the Higher National Diploma (HND), and the Foundation Degree (FdA) - equivalent to the first two years of a degree and can be topped up to a full honours degree later. Find out more

For more information about employing apprentices, HTQs, or to request a workplace visit, contact the Bradford College Business Development team:

t. 01274 728316