The Value of Apprentices

It’s National Apprenticeship Week (6-10 March), celebrating the positive impact that apprenticeships and traineeships have on individuals, businesses and the economy.

We embrace apprenticeship programmes here at Julius Rutherfoord, and are delighted to have had many positive and successful placements. Previous apprentices in our marketing and finance departments have completed their programmes and gone on to become highly valued permanent members of staff. We currently have an HR apprentice, who is halfway through her business admin placement, and five operations manager apprentices working through Level Three Diplomas in Management.

As well as actively supporting apprentices, we are also passionate about continuous training for all our staff – not just at induction but throughout their careers with us. In an industry renowned for high staff turnover, we are committed to improving staff retention through our positive and progressive attitude to our workforce.

All staff receive induction training at our Training Academy, which is located at our home in Battersea, and further training regularly throughout their careers. We deliver our training through the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc). It is the largest independent, professional and educational body within the cleaning industry, and we are accredited to deliver this training to all our staff.

The sessions are extremely engaging as they include practical training, such as different cleaning techniques and methods. We also conduct them in various languages such as English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Polish. We recognise that we have a diverse workforce, for many of whom English is a second language.

Changes to funding

Starting this spring, the way the government funds apprenticeships in England is changing. Some employers will be required to contribute to a new apprenticeship levy, and there will be changes to the funding for apprenticeship training for all employers. Here are the key points:

  • An apprenticeship levy is being introduced on 6 April, 2017. The levy requires all employers operating in the UK, with wage bills over £3 million each year, to invest in apprenticeships.
  • Qualifying employers will pay a levy of 0.5%
  • This levy will be returned to the employer through an online account, along with a 10% uplift from the government, to be spent on delivering apprenticeship-based training through an approved provider.
  • If the funds are not used after 18 months, the money is forfeited.

We are pleased that the government is taking steps to further support apprenticeships in the UK.

By providing a clear Career Pathway to Success Programme, our staff and apprentices can map out their aspirations and identify clear objectives towards achievement. Not only does this improve staff retention, but also heightens staff engagement.