TyneMet College played host to an event regarding the Apprenticeship Levy that is being introduced in April 2017.

Businesses from all over North Tyneside were in attendance at the event to discover how the Apprenticeship Levy will affect them and their businesses.

Special guest, Gillian Miller, who is the Regional Director of the Association of Colleges North East was also in attendance, who was there to answer any questions on the upcoming Apprenticeship Levy.

Gillian Miller said: “The Apprenticeship Levy at TyneMet College acted as a forum to allow local businesses to find out how proposed reforms to Apprenticeships will affect their business.

“For example, how their levy contribution will be calculated and how they can use the payments made to access high quality training and development for their employees through Apprenticeships delivered by colleges such as TyneMet.”

Pat Blyth, Head of Apprenticeships and Employer Engagement at TyneMet College, said: “The Apprenticeship Levy is a change that the Government has introduced, meaning that the funding of Apprenticeships in England is changing and employers with a pay bill over £3million will be required to contribute to the new Apprenticeship Levy.

“TyneMet College wanted to hold this event to give employers the chance to come along to a forum style meeting and get all the information that is available at the moment, and to also give them the chance to ask any questions they may have. We are also holding another event for Non-Levy payers on November the 25th to inform them how Apprenticeships will be funded in the future.”

TyneMet College held the event to help North Tyneside businesses best understand how they are going to be affected by the Apprenticeship Levy. The event covered topics such as: paying the Apprenticeship Levy, what counts as their pay bill, calculating what they have to pay and how to pay, how to access money paid under the Apprenticeship Levy and buying apprenticeship training.

A number of businesses attended from the North Tyneside area and further afield, including: North Tyneside Council; Northumberland County Council; Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust; Perfect IT Image; Patrick Parson; New Prospects; Age UK; A Greener Solution and Simpson Group.

Angela Dawson, Head of Corporate Support at Age UK said: “The event was very helpful and informative and gave us a full understanding of the Levy which eliminated some of our fears. We employ 250 staff who are all required to achieve a minimum of a Level 2 in Health & Social Care therefore we were very concerned that this was going to have a huge financial implication on us. However, after attending the event I realised this was not the case and it felt more opportunities would actually be open to us.”

Sarah Tishler, Training and Development Director at Simpson Group, said: “I found the event at TyneMet very informative. We now have clarification as to what contributions should be considered when calculating the annual pay bill. It was beneficial to know that we were viewing and discussing the official government presentation on apprenticeship reform, as opposed to someone’s interpretation of the proposals.

“The most significant point that I took away however, was that the levy could only be used against training costs from an approved supplier and that the funding should be accessed within the required time frame or it would no longer be available for use.”

For more information about the Apprenticeship Levy, please go to: http://www.apprenticeshipslevy.com