With Brexit looming, the BHA estimates that the hospitality skills gap will grow. The new Apprenticeship Levy gives hospitality employers the chance to strengthen their own recruitment strategies and play an active role bridging this gap.

Hospitality businesses, both big and small, should know what the Apprenticeship Levy means for them:

  • Employers with a pay-bill of over £3 million have to pay a Levy of up to 0.5% on their monthly pay bill. The Levy goes into an apprenticeship service account which can be used to fund approved apprenticeships.
  • Non-levy paying employers will pay up to 10% towards the cost of apprenticeships and the government will pay the rest.

Here are our Top 5 tips to make the most of the support available…

1 Review your current Learning and Development offering

We recommend taking a look at your current Learning and Development strategies and identifying whether they can be turned into apprenticeships. Are there team members you are currently training to be managers? If so, a management apprenticeship will likely make financial sense because the government will foot most of the bill.

2 Shout about your Apprenticeship opportunities

Your Apprenticeship opportunities should be leveraged to create a powerful employer brand and attract the best talent. Make sure you emphasise the career progression your training programme offers in job adverts, recruitment days and interviews.

Don’t forget to promote your opportunities internally too – 85% of companies who invest in apprentices report a significant rise in employee retention. Investing in your people is a powerful tool for strengthening employee loyalty to your brand.

3 Brand your Apprenticeships

As an employer, you would have to jump through hoops to become an approved Apprenticeship provider and qualify for funding through the Levy Scheme. Unless you are a large employer with highly specialised requirements, it’s simply not worth it.

However, some approved providers will allow you to white-label their apprenticeship programmes with your own branding. This way, you will create a programme which feels bespoke in a much more cost-effective way. It’s a great way to raise your brand profile.

Remember to celebrate the commitment you and your employee are both making. Share the success stories to continue to inspire learning.

4 Remember, Apprenticeships aren’t just for young or unskilled workers

Did you know apprenticeships are no longer only for low-paid, unskilled, or young workers? In March 2015, Level 7 apprenticeships were launched, but few employers have taken advantage of these Master’s-level programmes.

Higher-level apprenticeships allow you to create a clear career progression path and combat the perception that hospitality jobs are just a stopgap.

5 There will be competition for apprentices, so act fast

The Levy structure means that larger hospitality businesses have a huge incentive to invest in apprenticeships. The result is that there will likely be an increase in apprenticeships and competition for the best talent.

Smaller employers will need to step up to maintain a competitive edge in attracting and retaining talent.

Apprenticeships are a chance to prepare for the future of your team and should form part of your long term people strategy. Tassic is a HR Consultancy, offering expert support with recruitment, development, and retention strategy.