As the latest stats show a drop in numbers, ITP CEO Crissi Williams explains why the telecoms industry needs to hire apprentices to fill the skills gap.
This month marks the one-year anniversary of the UK-wide Apprenticeship Levy, which requires all UK public and private sector employers with an annual wage bill of £3m or more to invest in apprenticeship training. The latest statistics from the Department for Education (DfE) show that apprenticeship start statistics are down between 22 – 25% compared to the same period in 2016/17.
Despite a disappointing start to the year for starts nationally, we are optimistic about the year ahead for apprenticeships. In our industry, where the skills gap is widening, we believe that apprenticeships are the only way to solve this issue.
However, there still appears to be confusion about levy funding and training. Businesses receiving funding need to spend it within 24 months or risk losing it, and other smaller businesses may be entitled to funding without realising. Setting up a scheme doesn’t have to be complicated, and every year we see the benefits apprentices contribute to our member organisations and to the industry as a whole. It’s more important than ever to future-proof our industry and employ the stars of the future.
The ITP launched its apprenticeship scheme in 2013 to help telecoms companies set up, run and manage apprenticeship schemes. Since then it has created more than 80 roles across the industry.
For more information, please visit www.itpapprenticeships.org/