The new apprenticeship levy which has come into effect from 6 April 2017 has met with some confusion in our sector. We asked spokespeople from our members Staycity and House of Fisher for their views on how the levy may affect them and their teams.

  • What is your opinion of the new apprenticeship levy?

Trine Oestergaard, Managing Director, House of Fisher:

‘As a SME it won’t be affecting us as such, but the concept is great. Unfortunately training is one of those areas that struggle to get a budget within a company P&L. Having large companies pay into ‘a fund’ to ‘buy into’ training will work, it will give companies no excuse not to offer training to their staff and fairly fast. Encouraging apprenticeships in the hospitality industry is a great way to combat the lack of UK workforce.’

Ben Clayton, Head of HR, Staycity:

‘This is a great step forward for the industry. Over the past few years there has been much debate over the usefulness of apprenticeships,  both to the apprentice and to organisations. This shake-up will allow operators to work closely with providers to develop an apprenticeship scheme that works successfully across all levels of an organisation and supports the apprentice in their personal development. A key step change is the continued development of a scheme that will become a viable alternative to a more structured education offering a way of getting into the workplace, earning a wage and developing a recognised qualification with a defined career path.

‘This will allow Staycity Aparthotels make informed choices on how the levy is spent in a way that benefits the team member and the longer term strategy of the organisation as we develop our own roadmap for internal progression.’

  • How many apprentices do you employ currently?

 Ben Clayton, Staycity:

‘We currently are in the process of finalising our apprentice strategy, having worked with industry leaders to develop a successful approach. We intend to begin recruiting for apprentices from September 2017 across all our properties in the UK.’

Trine Oestergaard, House of Fisher:

‘We have two lovely young people from the local area, these are two from a long list of apprentices at House of Fisher, like Niall from last year who gave us his views in an interview on our website’

  • Will the levy deter you from employing more apprentices from now on?

Ben Clayton, Staycity:

‘Not at all, this is a great step forward for the industry, with stakeholders involved in developing the standards and maintaining them.’

Trine Oestergaard, House of Fisher:

‘As a SME we won’t be affected by the new levy, so it won’t change anything for us. We have now employed apprentices for the last 5 years and intend to continue our commitment to development local young people.

We have really enjoyed having regular apprentices, their development has been phenomenal. Historically a few of them have progressed into higher roles within the company, making it a really good career choice for them.’

ASAP and the NewsHub would like to thank Ben and Trine once again for their insights.


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