The Apprenticeship Levy: Use it or Lose it?

The Apprenticeship Levy has the potential to provoke a seismic shift in the way early talent recruitment works in the UK, and employers are preparing to respond.

BPP and Trendence UK have collaborated in order to survey 100 of the Guardian UK 300 employers and bring you the Apprenticeship Levy Study. We asked employers to tell us about their apprenticeship strategies in great detail: how will the levy affect their operating model? What about cost management? Attraction strategy? Other early talent programs? How do recruitment professionals feel about the levy?

Key highlights:

With almost all top UK employers planning to make use of the levy (94%), it’s interesting to see that a third of recruiters are not personally in favour of the measure. Most employers are planning to increase their activity – and the percentage of the DAS funds they expend – gradually over the first four years of the levy (2017-2020).

The Apprenticeship Levy places demands on employers that can often only be met by adapting their current Early Talent programmes, including existing graduate programmes. While 31% of employers surveyed plan to reduce their graduate recruitment numbers as a consequence of the levy, 53% of employers actually plan to convert a graduate programme into an apprenticeship programme.

Although many employers knew that they would be using the levy, a surprising number were unclear on how exactly they would implement their new apprenticeship programmes. As you go through this report, you’ll notice that the percentage of respondents who are ‘unsure’ is consistently between 30%-40% on key operational questions.

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