Ignite Training welcomes Government’s apprenticeship incentive

Posted on: 28th Mar 2024

A new initiative which will enable small businesses to access funds to cover the full cost of apprenticeship training has been welcomed by an Oxford-based training provider.

Apprenticeship experts Ignite Training have backed the Government’s major package of reforms to support small businesses by providing more opportunities for young people to kick start their careers.

From Monday, April 1, no small to medium enterprises (SMEs) will be required to pay for costs associated with apprenticeship training for anyone aged up to 21 after a £60m funding pool was launched.

The pool will be active for a year and can be used to support both new and existing staff with training in workplaces across all sectors. It’s expected to create 20,000 apprenticeship opportunities nationwide, with employers only required to pay the wage of each apprentice.

Levy-paying organisations can now also transfer 50 per cent of their unused funds to support the development of other businesses, previously only 25 per cent could be shared. It’s hoped the move will enable employers to recruit skilled workers in a cost-friendly way across all sectors, industries and professions.

Neville Algar, Head of Education at Ignite Training, said the initiative will make apprenticeship training more accessible than ever before for businesses of all sizes.

“We’re encouraged by the Government’s renewed commitment to supporting the provision of apprenticeships and addressing skills gaps across the UK,” said Neville.

“The ability for smaller organisations to take on and support additional staff without paying a penny for training and personal development is really powerful and removes the cost barrier SMEs may have faced previously when considering investing in apprenticeships.

“It also unlocks opportunities for larger firms to collaborate with their supply chains by committing unused levy funds which can be used to support new apprenticeship spaces both for new and existing staff.

“As a whole, this move can improve service and efficiency across the board and serves to strengthen our belief that apprenticeships and quality training can be used as a lever to inspire a fit and competent workforce for the future.”

Based at the RAW Charging Stadium in Marston, Ignite Training specialises in the delivery of sports coaching, teaching, leadership, management and content creation apprenticeships.

Its tutors work with professional sports clubs – including Queens Park Rangers, Birmingham City FC and Bristol Bears – plus schools, charities and corporate organisations by engaging new and existing staff to help develop skills relevant to their role via on-the-job training.

With apprenticeship standards now delivered to the equivalent of a Master’s Degree and over three-quarters (76.9 per cent) of apprentices aged 19 or older, Neville was keen to stress the landscape of vocational qualifications has shifted dramatically.

“People associate apprenticeships with teenagers who are fresh out of school working in traditional roles, such as bricklaying or hairdressing,” said Neville. “The reality of modern-day apprenticeships couldn’t be further from this assumption.

“Apprenticeships today are delivered across all sectors, and support established staff just as much as young professionals and those in the process of a career change.

“We’re hopeful this new initiative will incentivise businesses across our home county in Oxfordshire and beyond to realise the potential of investing in apprenticeships.”

Announcing the package, Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said apprenticeships are a fantastic way for businesses to develop the skills they require.

She added: “This Government has built a world-leading apprenticeship system, with apprenticeships now available in 70 per cent of all occupations.

“These new measures will help more businesses and young people benefit from them (apprenticeships). More opportunities are available to young people than ever before.”

Further information about Ignite Training and its apprenticeship programmes are available online via the website.

About Ignite Training

Established in 1999, Ignite’s primary aim is to actively inspire people, and to help create a sense of achievement for everyone. Based in Oxford and operating nationally, we provide a portfolio of training and services to individuals, schools and the sports industry, ranging from weekly clubs for tots to adult courses and apprenticeships.

About Ignite Training