One of the key challenges of making best use of the #Apprenticeship Levy is to make sure all colleagues are aware of how it can be spent.
Nottingham Community Housing Association (NCHA) employs some 1,200 individuals in housing and social care across the East Midlands. Communicating the merits of the Apprenticeship Levy across this large organisation is the role of Allison Whadcoat, Senior L&D Advisor.
Allison was interviewed about the benefits of apprenticeships by apprenticeship provider Access Training. Here she describes how making best use of the Apprenticeship Levy starts with dispelling some myths…
“As I started to engage with colleagues in my newly-created role as Senior L&D Advisor, I wanted to tackle a number of myths about apprenticeships: specifically, that they are not limited to school leavers, they don’t need to result in a permanent position and nor do they involve day release every week. It seemed counter intuitive to some that apprenticeships could be more cost effective than evening classes.
“Continually challenging those perceptions amongst colleagues helps them to understand our future funding pot is best protected by calling on our current Levy allocation for any training. Since we have a strategic partnership with Access Training, we sought to engage them on taking forward our ambitious training programme. In particular, we needed support on recruitment in parts of our region where we don’t have first-hand knowledge.
“Access reached out on our behalf to Direct Help and Advice at Derby Law Centre who tapped into an extensive network of North Nottinghamshire contacts across libraries and job centres. A 4-week sector-based work academy will follow, covering required skills in personal development, safeguarding, adult social care and customer service. Given that we were reaching a critical point on Levy fund expiry, Access moved mountains with our existing team; ensuring that our selected 16 colleagues were signed up, and with trainer and structured plans teed up, in only two and a half weeks.”