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Schools can SAVE £17,000 - EVERY Year!

Apprentices not only fill skills gaps, they do so in a cost-effective way, which affords schools more freedom to nurture their next generation of talent. More and more schools today are waking up to the benefits of apprenticeships. This can either be employing a new member of staff as an apprentice or encouraging an existing employee to further their career by taking an apprenticeship.

An apprenticeship allows an individual to study for a work-based qualification that can significantly improve their future earning power and career enjoyment. But it also provides many benefits for the school. We’d like to start by explaining some of the cultural benefits that employing an apprentice will have and then look at the cost savings for your school.

Here are some key benefits of apprenticeships for employers:

Apprenticeships provide skilled workers for the future

Apprenticeship training helps employees to improve their skills, which will benefit the school in the long term. Whether you are looking for a new teaching assistant; HLTA sports coach or administrative support for your office PEAK will work with you to ensure that the skills the apprentice learns meets the needs of your school. This not only allows you to fill skills gaps but also gives you an opportunity to grow your future staffing team.

Apprenticeships increase staff loyalty and retention

Employees who have been trained in-house tend to be highly motivated, committed to the school and supportive of its pupil.

An apprenticeship encourages employees to think of their job as a career and to stay with the school for longer, which reduces recruitment costs. Offering an apprenticeship to an existing member of staff shows that you see them as an integral part of the workforce and are happy to invest in their future.

According to data from the National Apprenticeship Service, 92% of companies that have taken on apprentices believe this leads to a more motivated and satisfied workforce and 80% have seen a significant increase in employee retention.

Training costs do not impact upon your bottom line!

If you are a levy paying school then your levy pot will meet 100% of the training cost for your apprentice. Many schools who are part of large academy chains or aligned to a local authority are paying the levy as part of their payroll costs. Many do not even realise that they can use this money to train an apprentice.

If you are part of a small academy chain or are a single school trust or academy then it is unlikely that you will be a levy payer. BUT the central funding provided by the ESFA will still cover 95% of the training cost for the apprentice. Leaving you with a small bill of a couple of hundred pounds – not bad for 18-24 months’ worth of training!

Apprenticeships free up existing staff time

We all know how busy day-to-day life in a school can be. Teachers and staff often find their time is taken up by smaller tasks or administration when they should be concentrating on teaching and learning and helping their pupils make rapid progress in the classroom.

Delegating these basic jobs to an apprentice allows them to learn and take responsibility, while freeing up the time of your more experienced staff. Better allocation of work should make your business more productive.

Apprentices can revitalise a school

Apprentices often bring a fresh approach and a positive attitude into the workplace, which can have a knock-on effect on existing staff. By embarking on an apprenticeship, they are showing themselves to be willing to learn and can bring new energy and innovative ideas into the company.

As apprentices come from a range of backgrounds – including high-calibre candidates who do not want the costs of going to university – they can bring fresh insight into your business activities.

Employing apprenticeships is a fantastic way of injecting new energy and creative ideas into your school. The way apprentices approach problem solving is vastly different from other staff and that can often lead to new and innovative ways of working. When using technology, for example, apprentices are often keen to improve processes, or find ways of speeding them up.

More than the impact on the processes, an apprenticeship also helps to develop staff, giving them the opportunity to mentor and nurture someone inexperienced. The development of these interpersonal skills has a knock-on impact for the way they support other members of staff, potentially having a far wider impact.

If your business is encountering a skills shortage or recruitment problem, you might consider an apprentice to inject a little more enthusiasm. They are an ideal solution, and will relish the opportunity to make an impression. They are hungry for the opportunity, they want to learn and are fresh with new ideas without many preconceptions.

Notoriously, apprentices are younger and other members of the team are open to helping them and pass on their knowledge which in turn improves communication and morale.

Between the apprentice, the colleagues, the business owner, the business itself and the wider UK economy, there is a wide range of benefits to be had from apprentices. It’s a win-win situation all around.

Finally, a company that is willing to invest in people by supporting apprenticeships is showing a positive approach to Corporate Social Responsibility, which is good for attracting both customers and future high-quality staff.

So let’s do the Maths…

We all know that payroll is the biggest expense that a school faces. The average wage cost for a teaching assistant, for example, is £21,785. But you don’t ONLY pay that amount. We know that the average on-costs for a school is currently around the 23% mark meaning that a £21k teaching assistant actually costs you closer to £26,000!

If you were to consider taking on a teaching assistant apprentice (or any other type of apprentice for that matter) you are free to pay them as little as £5.28 per hour for their first year. So, lets assume that your teaching assistants are on 35 hour contracts and you employ them on a term-time only basis (plus 12.07% for paid holiday) then the cost to your payroll for the first year of an apprentice is a smidgen over £8,000. THIS REPRESENTS A ONE YEAR SAVING OF £18,000! – That could be a useful amount to have in your budget when that next gas or electricity bill comes in!

It must be pointed out that apprenticeships take between 12-24 months depending upon the standard and for any employment after 12 months the apprentice must be paid at the national living wage rate of pay for their age – but this still represents a SAVING to your school. So lets stick with the example of an apprentice TA, which is an 18 month course and let us make the assumption that the apprentice was 20 years of age for their final 6 months – their wage cost in this case would rise to £7.49 per hour. Using the same maths formula as we did in the last paragraph then the payroll cost for the final 6 months would be approximately £5.75k. Compare this with 6 months of an average TA wage with on-costs AND YOU SAVE A FURTHER £7,250!

THAT’S A TOTAL SAVING TO YOU AS A BUSINESS OF OVER £25,000 across an 18 month period!

The real beauty of the apprenticeship programme however is that there is absolutely no requirement for you to employ the apprentice at the end of their course. We work with many schools who take on an apprentice for purely altruistic reasons and as one apprentice leaves we recruit another apprentice on their behalf. This means that these schools are SAVING an average of £1,403 EVERY MONTH! (Again, that’s a LOT of gas or electricity!)

Imagine facing a deficit budget and demonstrating a REAL cost saving of nearly £17k EVERY YEAR? Utilising 4 apprentices on a rolling period across 6 years would mean OVER £100,000 more money in your budget!

PEAK can help you with initial consultation right through to recruitment and interviews. We ensure that you hire the right candidates for your business. With apprenticeships in business admin, early years, teaching assistant, sports coaching and customer service, we have a wide selection of apprenticeships to fill a variety of roles. Our expert tutors will then guide you through the process and ensure your apprentice receives the best education. At PEAK we ensure a synergy between our apprenticeships and your business so each apprenticeship is tailored to your needs. Check out our Ofsted report or take a look at for more information.

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