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Leeds City College leads the way for new high level apprenticeships

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One of the biggest providers of apprenticeships nationally, Leeds City College, is expanding its offer and pioneering new higher level and degree level apprenticeships in the region.

The announcement comes following the Government’s new target of creating 3million apprenticeships nationally over the next five years, and the introduction of a new apprenticeship levy from April 2017 for large employers. Businesses with a pay-bill of £3m and over will have to pay 0.5 per cent of this into a central fund and in return will have access to funding for training and assessing apprenticeships.

The college already has a wide and varied apprenticeship offer covering all industry sectors, from traditional professions of engineering, motor vehicle, hairdressing and childcare to the growing office-based prospects in customer service, management and marketing.

David Gaughan, director of Apprenticeships at Leeds City College, said: “On top of our current offer, we’re proud to be providing students who are considering higher education, an alternative option to academic study, by working with leading employers to meet industry demand and develop their skills in a real working environment.

“Many UK businesses consider skills shortages and recruitment difficulties one of the biggest threats to performance. Apprenticeships can help companies across all sectors by offering a route to harness fresh new talent – more than a quarter of businesses rate this form of vocational training higher than any other qualification as work based learning becomes increasingly higher on the Government’s agenda. However, figures show that the majority of apprenticeships are undertaken in smaller workplaces.”

Leeds City College’s new higher level and degree level apprenticeships include Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship, Healthcare Practitioner Higher Apprenticeship, Laboratory Scientist Higher Apprenticeship and Chartered Legal Executive Apprenticeship, as well as a new Paralegal Advanced Apprenticeship.

Existing apprenticeship frameworks will be phased out and new employer-led apprenticeship standards will replace them. Employers in certain sectors are working as ‘trailblazers’, leading the way to design new apprenticeship standards and assessment methods for their sectors. Although the levy impacts only larger employers, businesses of all sizes are involved in the development of standards.

A breakfast event will be held on Thursday 23 June at The Leeds Club between 7.30am and 10am for large employers to find out more about apprenticeships and the new levy. Businesses that are interested can email employers@leedscitycollege.ac.uk or call 0113 308 7971.

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