Following the change in the apprenticeship system in 2017, a new target was set to hit 3 million new starts by 2020.

However, recent reports from the National Audit Office have revealed that there’s been a 26% decline in the number of new apprenticeships since the introduction of the new scheme.

These low statistics have led to fingers being pointed at companies that aren’t doing enough to encourage potential recruits to start an apprenticeship. While many view apprenticeships with distain, often regarded as old fashioned and more suited to jobs in industries that are slowly dying out, that’s not true at all.

There are a number of exciting companies out there for those looking to get into the tech and digital sectors. Here at Jolt, we’re all for apprenticeships, and indeed anything that helps arm people with real-world skills that can be used to advance their career.

Careers in a new technological age

With the technological boom over the past few years, careers have had to adapt, and the job market has never been so fluid. Many skills learnt at university or other places of higher education have been rendered outdated by the time students enter the workforce. Especially in the tech sector, employees are left struggling to keep up, where required skills change on almost an annual basis.

Often, workplace training is more technical and specialised in order to use certain types of systems that the company relies on, rather than broadening the workers skillsets that will help both within the context of the company and in their career development.

As the career marketplace continues to shift into a new technological age, job requirements are broader than ever before. Now, stackable skills are imperative - whereas once you could sell yourself as a frontend developer, now recruiters and hiring managers are looking for a full-stack developer who can also claim to be an expert in SEO-focused copywriting and marketing activity.

Using the levy to pay for learning schemes

Many people don’t know that the apprenticeship levy, which imposes a tax on large employers that they can then claim back to fund training, is that it can be used by employers to pay for learning schemes such as Jolt.

Section 10 in the Department for Education’s Apprenticeship funding in England states that employers can use the apprenticeship levy funds in their accounts, or access government co-investment support to train their employees.

As long as the training allows the individual to acquire substantive new skills, and the content of the training is materially different from any prior training or a previous apprenticeship, employees are eligible to use the levy for their benefit.

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Keeping up to date with a multitude of industries and skillsets

Jolt offers and encourages a training programme unlike anything else on the market, where students can use the levy to fund further training. Classes such as UX and UI design, public speaking and Instagram strategy ensure that those attending the classes can keep up to date with a multitude of industries and skillsets.

Not only does Jolt benefit the skillset of the student, but it also acts as a great place to network, introducing people to a peer group outside of their workplace. This in turn leads to greater creativity and can open doors to new business opportunities.

As the number of apprenticeship enrolments isn’t hitting targets, and over £2bn of the levy is left unspent each year, workplaces should be encouraging their employees to look at alternative forms of training in order to take advantage of further education and training opportunities.

Roei Deutsch, Founder and CEO of Jolt, an innovative co-learning spaces where professionals can learn how to future proof their careers from world class experts.

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