The Open University and KPMG launch joint apprenticeship services

14 September 2016

The UK Government’s Apprenticeship Levy, which will go into effect from next year, provides businesses across the UK with funds to train apprentices. To support businesses create robust apprenticeship programmes, KPMG and The Open University have come together to launch an apprenticeship service. The service will initially offer three higher apprenticeship trajectories.

The UK Government’s Apprenticeship Levy will require employers with a pay bill of over £3 million to pay an annual levy to support apprenticeships across UK businesses. The levy amounts to 0.5% of annual pay bill, with a levy allowance of £15,000 per year to offset payments below the £3 million threshold. The levy will fund apprenticeships for all UK businesses, further opening up apprenticeships as a path towards work, while allowing participants to be paid while they learn. Businesses will be able to access the apprenticeships programme through a new digital apprenticeship service account.

The new scheme is set to create increased demand for apprenticeships, as more government funding becomes available to more businesses to train people up as apprentices. In a bid to support employers identify and fulfil their future training needs, KPMG and The Open University (OU) have come together to launch a new apprenticeship service.

The Open University and KPMG launch joint apprenticeship services

The partners will work together to offer a combination of KPMG’s workforce analysis and OU’s apprenticeships and online learning programmes, supported by expert tutors. According to the partners, the new offering will “help organisations to understand their future workforce needs, identify skills gaps and provide and manage training programmes through apprenticeships. A central feature of the service is the extensive use of online learning, which will encourage greater access and opportunity to expand the scheme across businesses.”

KPMG and the OU will initially provide three higher-apprenticeship scheme programmes for businesses seeking to train: Healthcare Practitioner Assistant Higher Apprenticeship; Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship; and Digital and Technical Solutions Degree Apprenticeship.

The partners are the first of the ‘Big Four’ organisations to support businesses provide apprenticeships in this way – and is aimed at meeting the demand from businesses across the UK seeking to leverage the opportunity the Apprenticeship Levy creates.

Mark Williamson, Partner at KPMG, says, “The new levy has the potential to help organisations unlock productivity in their workforce by up-skilling employees in areas which align to their overall commercial objectives. This will enable them not only to plug current skills gaps, but reshape their workforce to meet the future demands of their business.”

Ian Howell, Director of the Business Development unit at The Open University says, “More than ever, it is vital that UK businesses develop their staff to ensure our country has the skills it needs to compete on the world stage. The OU has a strong track record of working with employers to train and develop their workforce – including through higher level apprenticeships. By working together with KPMG, we cannot only help organisations tap into unlocked potential of their people, but help increase the confidence and skills of individuals in key sectors for the benefit of our national economy.”

Earlier this year KPMG made tweaks to its recruitment approach aimed at shortening the process from weeks to a matter of days.