Meet Step Forward and Kick-Start your Apprenticeship Strategy at World Tour London
At this year’s Salesforce World Tour London, Salesforce.org is delighted to welcome the team behind the award winning London apprenticeship scheme, Step Forward, run by leading social integration charity, The Challenge. During the event, you’ll get the chance to learn about the new UK apprenticeship levy which comes into effect in May 2017, how you can make the most of it and get some guidance on your apprenticeship talent strategy.
Oh, and Step Forward will be looking for attendees to pledge to interview apprentices also – just 130 of them.
What is the Step Forward programme, what makes it different?
The Step Forward apprenticeship scheme seeks to connect motivated young people to top employers while nurturing both soft skills development and important workplace skills and competencies. The apprenticeships and training cover many disciplines including Accounting, Business Administration, Digital Marketing and IT. Most recently, Step Forward has introduced a Software Development and Salesforce apprenticeship programme, becoming the fastest growing to date. This one-year programme for Londoners aged 17-20 offers participants from diverse backgrounds the chance to develop in-demand IT skills, while benefitting from paid employment for 12 months, earning a nationally recognised qualification and Salesforce certification at the end of the programme.
The Challenge and Step Forward have always focused on diversity and inclusion. 68% of their apprentices are from non-white backgrounds compared to the national average of 10%. And its participants have been seeing real success, with 90% of graduates going straight into full time employment or education following the programme. One year later, this rises to 100%. One apprentice, Michael Thomas, who is currently enrolled in the pilot Salesforce stream and working with Secret Escapes, started his apprenticeship in September, passed his Salesforce ADM201 in January and by February was training support staff in Poland on Salesforce. He’s also shortlisted for a national apprenticeship award.
What’s the levy you say?
The UK government wants to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020 and has introduced the apprentice levy as a means to fuel the adoption of apprenticeship schemes across the UK. The levy is looking to standardise the payment process for apprentices so companies and apprenticeship training providers can boost quantity and focus on quality. The levy will see companies with an annual payroll of over £3 million pay 0.5% of their payroll bill into a fund which they can then use to support their own apprenticeship recruitment. Companies with a payroll of less than £3 million will be supported by the government who will pay 90% of the cost of training for apprentices (there is still an additional wage cost to be met by employers).
Sound like something you’d like to hear more about?
If you’re attending World Tour London, make it a priority to talk to the Step Forward and The Challenge team. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to educate yourself on the impact the levy may have on your business or organisation, and while you’re there, why not pledge to interview an apprentice too?
There will be a number of highly visible Step Forward team members around the event who will be more than willing to talk briefly about the scheme and collect your details for a future, more in-depth discussion.
Step Forward will also be presenting in the Salesforce.org Lodge at 2pm in the registration area where you’ll be able to hear directly from existing apprentices experiences, how the apprenticeship programme can really impact your workforce and more information regarding the new levy.
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