Since the announcement of reforms to UK apprenticeship in 2015, SECOM have been driving an industry-leading project to develop future talent and encourage the funding of apprenticeships. With the legislation coming into effect earlier this year, Derek Jones has dedicated himself to establishing a National Training and Development Centre of Excellence, which will become a vital talent hub for the business and help enable us to achieve our aims.
The effect of the new legislation is that there will be a levy (0.5% of an employer’s tax bill for companies whose annual payroll is in excess of £3million) aimed at driving up the number of apprenticeship opportunities and to ensure that those companies who meet the levy criteria pay towards apprenticeship training and assessment requirements.
This levy will have an additional six-figure impact on SECOM. Therefore it has become extremely important that SECOM can achieve status as an authorised provider of training and assessment of apprenticeships, in order that this levy can be reinvested to fund investment in SECOM’s own apprenticeship schemes. In turn, this will also protect our own tax expenditure as a business.
The changes to the apprenticeship structure have allowed us to bid to become a training provider for our own staff. The benefit is that for the first time employers will be able provide their own training for the apprentices and also prepare the apprentice for the end point assessment. They then can use their vouchers as payments for this training and thereby gain a return on their levy payments. We can therefore strengthen our training within the new Fire and Security Apprenticeship standards by embedding our own solutions and procedures with the apprentices. This new employer-designed model is in stark contrast to the archaic academic frameworks previously produced by educationalists.
SECOM’s new Training and Development Manager is developing a structured training and development plan around our National Training and Development Centre Academy. The academy will be a Centre of Excellence, a major resource for the apprentices and upskilling of existing SECOM staff.
The academy has a state of the art audio visual system to allow for effective communications, differentiated teaching resources and distance learning opportunities, as well as myriad usages and opportunities for our current staff. Our apprenticeship offer will follow a structured pathway to ensure that the apprentice can develop the necessary skills, knowledge and behavior to succeed in the industry, with a specific focus on training in line with SECOM’s own business standards and the technologies of the future.
In this way, we will be able to manage our recruitment needs in the long term and proactively improve the quality of engineers, evolve innovative technologies, develop new solutions, and utilise the talents of vibrant apprentices to provide fresh ideas. This pipeline of talent will become instrumental in progressing our business as SECOM becomes stronger and fitter.