Apprenticeships plays an important part in creating thriving local communities, helping local people to develop the skills and learning they need to develop their future careers.
In the property services industry, apprenticeships also mean that we can ensure that the sector continues to develop the skilled workers it needs to drive up standards and deliver excellent customer service.
As the go to people for property services, Liberty prides itself on delivering the very highest standards. have a multi-skilled team of operatives including gas engineers, plumbers and electricians, builders, joiners and roofers to enable us to provide a whole-house solution to our customers.
Our apprentice training programme plays a key role in our business model, enabling us to train up our team to meet the standards we expect, as well as creating skills and employment opportunities across the communities in which we work.
When the government introduced the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017, we saw this as an opportunity to do even more to support our current and future workforce.
We introduced a new Apprentice and Training Team to increase our capacity to deliver apprenticeships over the next 12 months, which has been a big success. Apprentices now account for 10% of our 900-strong team, with over 80 taking a formally recognised qualification.
This isreversing the national trend that has seen apprenticeships fall since the introduction of the Levy.
The Levy means that employers now have to account for a 0.5% charge of its paybill to fund new apprenticeships. Since its introduction there has been a 26% drop in apprenticeships across the country.
At Liberty we were committed right from the start to making the Levy work for our organisation and build on our strong track record of delivering apprenticeships, investing over £100,000 via the Levy.
We reinvest two thirds of profits into community and social purpose projects, which enabled us to launch a new national training academy in April this year to enhance the skills of hundreds of gas engineers.
This will alone will support a significant number of apprenticeships and ensure that operatives have the essential qualifications needed to carry out gas work.
We also work with clients such as housing providers and local authorities to identify apprenticeship opportunities. A successful partnership with Portsmouth City Council enabled us to support 17 young people in the local area to gain valuable experience and long-term employment as gas engineers.
Apprenticeships provide a platform for young people to build their careers in their chosen trade, learn new skills and gain hands-on experience and qualifications while earning a decent wage.
They are vital to enhancing the provision of local job opportunities and businesses need to work together to reverse the downward trend in apprenticeships across the country and invest in the skills of our future workforce.