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News & blogs: Blogs

Blog: The Apprenticeship Levy - which 'camp' do you sit in?

21 February 2017  
Mike Thompson

Ahead of the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April, we invited Mike Thompson of Barclays to deliver a presentation at the recent CSA Members' Meeting outlining how businesses can benefit and make the most of this new initiative. Mike is Director of Early Careers, Chair of the Apprenticeship Trailblazer Group for Financial Services and a member of the Apprenticeship Delivery Board..

The premise behind the Apprenticeship Levy is a shared growth ambition to provide people with access to a prosperous future. This is about creating societal and commercial value, not one or the other.

Through our apprenticeships programme at Barclays, we helped 3,000 people into work and long-term careers, providing access to a range of entry level roles across the organisation for the long-term unemployed. As a business, this has benefited us in a number of ways including increasing the diversity of new recruits and closing skills gaps by investing in our existing workforce.

The Apprenticeship Levy is only part of the reforms to apprenticeships but it is still widely misunderstood.


The three ‘camps’

Damian McAlonan, Managing Partner of the Boost Partnership has identified three ‘camps’ that businesses are typically falling into when it comes to the introduction of the levy:

  • Camp 1 - The ‘Denial Camp’. This camp believed 12 August 2016 (the date the funding model was published) would never happen and that the levy would still be postponed.
  • Camp 2 - The ‘It's too late to do anything now’ Camp. This camp is going to treat the levy like another ‘need to pay’ tax. They’ll do nothing and hope no one asks too many probing questions, meanwhile they’ll work out what to do for 2018.
  • Camp 3 - This is the ‘I need to do something, but not sure what’ Camp. This camp is relying on training providers or industry bodies to come up with an off-the-shelf solution to bail them out.


Of course, training providers, assessment organisations and trade bodies are there to help but making the most of the levy really comes from making it a key part of your organisational development strategy.

A key benefit of the new apprenticeship reforms, particularly for those organisations that don’t already have strong apprenticeship programmes in place, is access to better quality training and qualifications for both your existing and new recruits, increasing your capability to attract better talent and create a more productive, engaged workforce.

The CSA has developed new apprenticeship standards for Credit, Collections and Compliance and will be providing advice and guidance to its members across all aspects of apprenticeships. For more information click here.

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