Brexit is coming (possibly), and with it comes some unique challenges around replacing or retaining EU staff. Industries like IT could be heavily affected due to the current Digital skills gap, in the industry.
With the uncertainty still looming, the number of foreign tech job applications is down a reported 50% since the referendum to leave the EU. This will increase the focus on effective hiring, training and retention across UK businesses.
According to the CIPD, Brexit has had a number of knock ons to employers across most sectors. 44% of employers experienced greater difficulty in recruitment during 2018, as another 34% faced a similar challenge retaining staff.
It’s not all doom and gloom, as many industry leaders are now turning to employee training to boost retention, and minimise the impact of Brexit. By making the most of the apprenticeship levy, they can realise its potential as a tool to counter uncertainty and keep team members invested.
Taking a proactive approach to the Levy can have a number of benefits as well as boosting retention. IT can make employees 31% more productive, ultimately leading to more profit. It can also have a noted impact on staff engagement, meaning an employee’s personal goals will align with those of the company.
Increasingly, sectors like IT and hospitality are realising that apprenticeships aren’t just about recruiting young people looking for a different pathway into the world of work. Through the Apprenticeship Levy, a tax on organisations with an annual wage bill of over £3 million, Levy funding can be allocated to develop existing staff, as well as bring in new talent.
This gives an opportunity for employers to invest in their team, developing leadership and management skills, as well as filling any skills gaps in their organisation with eager talent – using funding that’s already allocated.
Apprenticeships are an attractive prospect to existing employees, as it gives them an opportunity to develop themselves in a role they’re already familiar with, and after time develop and grow into more senior roles.
There is a two year deadline to use any levy funding on upskilling or hiring an apprentice, meaning that funding allocated when the Levy was introduced in April of 2017 is now beginning to expire. So that means organisations need to act fast to save missing out on potential staff development schemes using the funding.