Legal Apprenticeships – act now to benefit – July 2018

Legal Apprenticeships - act now to benefit - July 2018Legal Apprenticeships - act now to benefitElena Papantoni tells us it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee!

It has now been almost three months since MASS Training officially shook hands with Damar Training in order to offer a New Paralegal Apprenticeship directed to Legal Firms who handle RTA/PI Claims. Whilst working on this project it became quite apparent that not all Legal Firms (if not the majority!) are aware of the benefits they can reap from the implementation of the new Government Apprenticeship Initiative. And, I’m not going to lie, the whole thing sounds (and probably is) more complicated than it should, so let’s take a better look at what has been going on.

The Government, in an endeavour to urge companies of all shapes and sizes to employ apprentices, has made it beneficial for all employers to hire and train individuals at minimal cost. Hence the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy which, at first sight, only large companies with annual bill of £3 million and over can benefit from – possibly because they are the ones contributing to the creation of the ‘Levy Pot’. How do they do this? By submitting 0.5% of their annual bill into this big Levy Pot and the only way to get back their money’s worth is to employ and train apprentices.

But how feasible is it that a large Levy paying company will have a regular demand and influx of apprentices in order to practically gain back every single pound every single year? Obviously the probabilities are not entirely on their side – therefore a surplus of unused funds that are bound to remain in the pot are up for grabs. And it is from these unused funds that the smaller companies who do not contribute to the Levy can benefit.

The Government decided that all these non-Levy payers can use funds from the Levy Pot to cover 90% of the apprenticeship costs. Not to mention that if they decide to employ a 16-18 year old apprentice all training costs will be covered. As it is important for large companies to use as much of their Levy money as possible instead of risking to lose them completely, it is also important for smaller companies to ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ sooner rather than later and take advantage of the funds available to them.

How can the Levy be accessed and used? Each company will have to register here  and create an account which will allow them to allocate their funds, choose their training provider and all in all manage their scheme. It is also important to ensure that the training provider chosen abides with the Apprenticeship Standards (as set up by the Government) in order to be certain that the funds used are not going to waste.

I think it is quite obvious that, as Members of MASS, you should look into the New Paralegal Apprenticeship we are currently working on with Damar. It has added benefit of the MASS Diploma in PI and we sincerely believe that this will provide a unique opportunity for all RTA/PI firms who wish to take advantage of the Government Apprenticeship Scheme by employing Paralegal Apprentices.

The MASS Training website will be updated regularly as the New Paralegal Apprenticeship with Damar develops.

Elena Papantoni, author of ‘Legal Apprenticeships – act now to benefit’ is MASS Training Co-ordinator based in Bristol

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