The Department for Education has published a new guide for schools, available here on:
- what apprenticeships are;
- how schools can use them to benefit their workforces; and
- how the apprenticeship levy and public sector target apply to schools.
The guide is aimed at school leaders and governing bodies in all schools in England and local authorities. It is suggested that it may also be of use to professional associations, unions and staff working with apprentices.
Under the public sector target, public sector bodies in England with 250 or more staff must have regard to a target to employ an average of at least 2.3% of their headcount as new apprentices between April 2017 and March 2021. The guide considers the options for schools in using apprenticeships and notes that, since they are for existing employees as well as new recruits, apprenticeships can be used to access new talent as well as for retraining or upskilling existing staff.
In addition to helping identify whether a school, local authority or academy trust is responsible for paying the apprenticeship levy, the guide explains how those who pay the levy can access funding for apprenticeships through the apprenticeship service and how those that do not pay the levy (either on their own or as part of a larger employer group) can still take on apprentices and access co-investment to purchase apprenticeship training from an approved provider.