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National Apprenticeship Week 2016: Building the Economy

To mark the start of National Apprenticeship Week 2016, new research  published by Morar (formerly Redshift), found that businesses not only place apprentices at the heart of their plans to rise to the top, but rank hiring the right staff as the most important factor in helping them grow.

The recently amended Apprenticeship Levy is a levy on UK employers to fund new apprenticeships. In England, control of apprenticeship funding will be put in the hands of employers through the Digital Apprenticeship Service.

The levy will be charged at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s pay bill, and each employer will receive an allowance of £15,000 to offset against their levy payment. The levy will be introduced in April 2017 and will affect employers in all sectors. It will only be paid on annual pay bills in excess of £3 million however, and so less than 2% of UK employers will pay it.

Whilst this might seem to be a rate that businesses would be opposed to, having a strong apprentice training programme is vital to the future of the majority of businesses in the UK. The importance of finding talented young individuals and developing their skills so they can take business forward in the future cannot and should not be underestimated.

For Thales, apprentices represent an ever increasing percentage of the organisation. This is part of the commitment to the 5% club, which Thales has been a member of since 2014. This nationwide club sees organisations commit to having a minimum 5% of their workforce enrolled on formalised apprentice, sponsored student and/or graduate development schemes, something which Thales achieved immediately upon joining.

Currently across Thales’s business in the UK, there are over 130 apprentices, working on a wide range of functions and projects. To see more of what our apprentices work on follow our account on SnapChat, “ThalesCareers”, or visit our Early Careers website .

One crucial element in creating a more balanced economy with a revitalised and effective manufacturing base is a highly skilled and qualified workforce. This is where apprenticeships play a key role in producing a highly trained workforce and should be a top priority on the education and training agenda for the United Kingdom. Thales is contributing to the UK economy through many projects and products, whilst also helping to upskill the next generation of engineering and business leaders across a number of markets.

The vital role that apprenticeships play in the future development of young people, and the UK’s future economic prosperity overall, cannot be underestimated as they offer young people training, enhanced job prospects and the unique opportunity to develop a wide range of skills in many different environments. Apprentices are able to work across different sectors of their companies with different groups of people and departments – as well as the chance to engage with suppliers and customers. This is something that Thales supports and will continue to encourage across its businesses in the coming future.