My shout: the apprenticeship levy one year on

By Jill Whittaker

- Last updated on GMT

'Go-to solution': Despite 'teething problems' Whittaker believes the apprenticeship levy is a great way for employers to attract, retain and nurture top talent.
'Go-to solution': Despite 'teething problems' Whittaker believes the apprenticeship levy is a great way for employers to attract, retain and nurture top talent.
Managing director of HIT Training, Jill Whittaker, looks back on the apprenticeship levy 12 months after it was introduced.

For some pubs, the perceived costs and admin involved with the Government’s apprenticeship levy may well have felt a little overwhelming. While this has caused some to write off the scheme as a failure, at HIT Training we believe this is a short-sighted view.

As with anything new, there have been teething problems and some confusion around the levy itself. A key area of concern for independent freeholders is that many fall within the £3m pay bill threshold, meaning they have to contribute 10% towards their apprenticeship training – no insignificant amount at a time when everyone is being squeezed on costs and rent.

It’s important not to look at this in isolation but rather at the value staff investment can offer in the longer term. Our clients certainly continue to applaud apprenticeships as an excellent way to upskill staff while also attracting and retaining top talent – saving on money lost to recruitment and constant onboarding
of new staff.

Here are three top benefits to consider:

  • 80% of companies that invest in apprentices report an increase in staff retention
  • Apprentices deliver an average of £10,000 per annum in productivity gains
  • 77% of employers believe apprenticeships make them more competitive.

There have been two key evolutions in the world of apprenticeships this year.

First, the introduction of new standards, making training even more relevant and rigorous, with the benefits to businesses made even more obvious. For example, as part of the new end-point assessment for the hospitality team member apprenticeship, apprentices have to complete a project to identify an opportunity to improve the business in which they work – many employers have grabbed hold of these initiatives with both hands and are already implementing them with great success.

Secondly, the Government has opened the door for levy-paying employers to help fund an apprentice in another organisation. This means they can help increase the skills base in their supply chain, sector, charity or local area – one for publicans to consider if there are partnership opportunities open to them.

There is no doubt apprenticeships are the go-to solution for employers looking to attract, retain and develop talent, from new starters right through to senior level employees, and we’re encouraging pubs to evaluate their training needs and access the benefits apprenticeships can provide to their business and employees.

For more information on HIT Training, visit​ or call 0800 093 5892

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