Dear BWF Member,
You will hopefully be aware that the Government has announced a Levy on employers in the UK whom have a wage bill of £3m and above, which will be charged at 0.5% of that figure (full details here). It will be introduced in April 2017, and will be taken through your payroll by HMRC. Accompanying this is a complete overhaul of Apprentice Frameworks that will have a profound impact on our sector.
Currently, there is an Apprenticeship Framework at Level 2 in Wood Products Manufacturing that is aimed at medium to large manufacturers (you can see a copy of the scope here). However, to meet the new funding requirements (for both Levy and non Levy payers), this framework will be withdrawn at the end of this year and must be replaced by an Apprenticeship Standard. Note this is a separate qualification from the Architectural Joinery Standard that has already been approved to replace the existing Bench Joinery Standard (for reference an outline of this standard is available here Level 2 Architectural Joinery and here Level 3 Architectural Joinery).
This is where we need your input - we need at least 10 companies to support the development of the Wood Product Manufacturing Apprenticeship Standard. Your involvement will allow you to help shape the apprenticeship content to ensure it delivers for you and your business. Without this level of support the qualification cannot be approved as a standard and will no longer be available.
We would be looking for someone from your company who is familiar with the work processes/ occupationally competent on the workshop/factory floor – we anticipate that most of the work can be done via online/telephone meetings and BWF can do the heavy lifting, but we do need your support and guidance to ensure that it will work for you. If you or a colleague are willing to help us develop the apprenticeship, please fill out this simple form to pledge your support.
In the meantime, we will be lobbying government to keep the current Apprenticeship Framework available until we have the new Apprenticeship Standard in place, and would welcome your support again using the above link.
If you have any questions about the apprenticeship process, the levy or our wider training strategy and how Centres of Excellence fit in, please do not hesitate to contact me.