With entry level posts in decline, and skills in short supply, are apprenticeships the answer to Britain’s job market challenges? In the news this week, the government’s Apprenticeship Levy is reviewed, six months on. Northern Ireland’s public sector seeks to reflect its diverse society in its police force recruitment. And a high tech solution sees Australian recruitment specialists poised to enter the Brazilian jobs space.
The Apprenticeship Levy: Impact and Progress Report
It was controversial from the moment it was announced but, six months on, what impact has the Apprenticeship Levy had on hiring and skills in Britain’s workforce?
That was the question asked by an article, researched by Jobsite, this week.
Controversial since its inception, the Apprenticeship Levy affects every employer with annual salaries totalling more than £3 million. Those liable for the fee are now obliged to contribute 0.5 per cent of their wage bill to a central fund. This money is then allocated to support the training and up-skilling of young workers in junior positions.
However, as the report finds, almost two in every three businesses eligible for funding have not taken advantage of the scheme – leaving millions of pounds laying dormant.
Despite the slow uptake of the initiative, those organisations who have participated report positive outcomes – suggesting there may yet be a future for the scheme. Applications companies offering apprenticeship schemes are up by 39 per cent, while staff retention has improved by 30 per cent within the same time. The data would imply a substantial interest in apprenticeship positions among Britain’s jobseekers.
On the other side of the employment fence, participating business leaders have reporting an improvement in workforce skills (up 38 per cent). Almost two thirds of organisations (60 per cent) believe that the levy will make a positive impact on the skills gap in Britain’s recruitment market.
Australia’s SEEK Group looks to Brazil
Global recruitment specialist, SEEK is poised to move into the South American market with new investment.
The Australia-based group joined the second round of funding for new Brazilian start-up Revelo, as it sought to secure an additional $4.6 million of funding before launch. South American venture capital fund Valor Capital also participated.
The new talent platform aims to address the growing demand for high-end candidates within Brazil’s outward-looking tech sector. Revelo’s core client base is drawn from software development, digital marketing, and corporate consultancy.
Revelo’s co-founder Lucas Mendes, highlighted the crucial role of recruitment software in the valuation of his enterprise: “We use machine learning and adaptive technical tests to offer a curated talent pool of engaged talent to our more than 1,500 clients”.
Advanced talent acquisition technologies, such as semantic search, have helped Brazil address its shortage of specialised skills in key industries. The country’s jobs market is now the fifth largest in the world.
Diversifying Northern Ireland’s Police force
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has launched a drive to find 300 new recruits, with a focus on drawing applicants from more diverse backgrounds.
Recent weeks have produced multiple examples of the public sector striving to create a more diverse workforce – both in Britain, and abroad. The issue takes on an added level of significance in Northern Ireland, where public life has been divided by religious and cultural differences within living memory.
PSNI aims to discover more female officers and support staff, as well as recruiting from Catholic and LGBT communities.
Deputy Chief Constable of the PSNI, Drew Harris, said: “The Police Service of Northern Ireland is committed to ensuring our workforce is totally representative of the community we serve.”