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A common debate is whether certain charismatic personalities are born leaders or is it just a matter of experience that brings them to this stage of excellence? Leadership is an art that not all can master; it differentiates people on the basis of their ability to lead rather than dominate over their subordinates.
We all know the difference between high and average-performing managers; however, for certain job levels, it depends upon productivity, efficiency and the ability to execute complex jobs.
Leaders don’t just appear. They were once managers, subordinates and peers who turned out to be great leaders with the ability to perform desirable business operations and achieve profits for the company.
The Undeniable Link between a Manager and a Leader
Not all managers are good leaders. In fact, there is a very thin line between a good manager and a leader. Leaders compel people to follow them, as they are in an authoritative position, whereas managers work with and through people. Successful businesses need to have both effective leaders and managers to get the team working towards a particular goal. Students can learn to be effective managers during group projects, but as they enter the corporate world, it’s important for them to start adopting leadership roles that will drive them toward success.
As organisations are beginning to place more and more importance on teamwork, managers are expected to strategically plan how to articulate their own vision and work with employees to attain it. The competitive marketplace has urged managers to assume the role of responsible leaders as unprecedented levels of performance are needed to gain a competitive advantage in a talent-hungry market.
- Set a precedent.
It is a common misconception that leaders need to dominate and rule over their employees or subordinates to get the job done. In fact, a good leader is one who is followed by example. As the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words, and if managers want their subordinates to implement what they preach, it’s important that they practice it too.
Leaders set their organisations’ tone and culture, which automatically trickle down the hierarchy and establish the acceptable norms and practices. All great leaders have operational discipline. They are talented people who sustain high performance to inspire motivation and loyalty in employees and make them want to be part of their team.
- People are what drive you.
A leader is not a leader until he or she is accepted by everyone as the leader. Just like respect cannot be demanded, but rather earned, to be seen as source of inspiration and example, managers need to have excellent interpersonal skills. For people to place their indispensable trust in a leader, the leader’s personality must be approachable. Leaders are always mindful of what their subordinates want, as they strongly believe that it is the employees who drive results and are the company’s most prized assets.
- Being the risk bearer to achieve the desired result.
Leaders are daring and fearless. They have the habit of taking risks and not giving up at any cost. They are often able to bring out the best in themselves through their relentless efforts. They are used to dealing with uncertainty and are often plunged into situations where they have to improvise. This situation is the true test of emotional intelligence and the ability to leverage creativity and innovation to achieve the desired results.
Communicating and Celebrating
Managers execute tireless leadership skills throughout their professional careers with consistent communication with their employees and by celebrating victories and successes, whether large or small. With continuous encouragement for improvement, they pride themselves and their teams on their responsiveness and willingness to outperform and make achievement their top priority.
These leadership characteristics drive better results, delivering excellence and productivity for the organisation.
THE LEP APPRENTICESHIP GRANT FOR EMPLOYERS BUSINESS BRIEFING SHEET
(Apprentice starts between 1 January 2017 and 31 July 2017 – Phase 4)
The LEP has made it easier for you to employ the talent you need to grow your business with a bespoke apprenticeship grant package that offers small and medium sized employers in West Yorkshire and York a fantastic opportunity. Here are the headlines:
- You could get up to a maximum of £2,000 grant for each apprentice aged 16-24 whom you employ, up to a maximum of three apprentices
- Your business must be based in Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, Wakefield or York local authority postcode areas
- You must employ fewer than 250 employees
- You will need to work with a training provider approved by the Skills Funding Agency
- There are some other eligibility criteria and your training provider can help you confirm that
you are eligible
- The grant is currently only available where a business meets the eligibility criteria and has an apprentice starting their learning programme with a recognised SFA training provider between 1 January 2017 and 31 July 2017. However the fund is limited and so is offered on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, subject to funding availability and confirmation of eligibility
- To progress, you need to ask your training provider to register interest on your behalf on the LEP webpage at: www.the-lep.com/age
Read on to find out more and check that you are eligible.
You can only access the offer if you have not had an apprentice before or, have offered apprenticeships (16-24 years old) since September 2010, have benefitted from government (Skills Funding Agency) apprenticeship funding for training and can evidence that you have given a permanent contract of employment to at least one of these previous apprentices following the completion of their apprenticeship
Contents of this briefing paper are subject to amendment 3.1.2017
What funding is on offer?
The LEP Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (the LEP grant) provides a core grant of £1,200 per apprentice. Anadditionalincentivepaymentof£800perapprenticeisavailableifyoumeetanyof the following additional criteria:
- If your apprenticeship is offered as an advanced or higher apprenticeship
- If the apprenticeship you are providing is within one of the following LEP priority sector
subject (apprenticeship framework) areas:
o Construction, planning and the built environment o Engineering and manufacturing technologies
o Information and communication technology
o Science and mathematics
If you agree to pay your apprentice the ‘living wage’ or as a minimum the ‘national minimum wage’ relevant to their age (which is above the national apprenticeship wage)
If you meet the criteria for both the core grant and additional criteria you may be eligible for a total grant of up to £2,000 per apprentice. If eligible, you can claim up to three grants for three apprentices during the time the grant is available – so that’s a potential £6,000 in total. Please note: only one grant will be paid per employer for any particular apprentice.
Due to the finite nature of the funding available, the LEP grant is made available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, is subject to funding availability and confirmation of eligibility.
When is the LEP grant available?
The grant is currently available for apprentices who are employed and start their learning with an approved SFA training provider from 1 January to 31 July 2017.
Is your business eligible for this grant?
To be eligible to claim the core grant of £1,200 per apprentice you must:
- be based in one of the following local authority postcode areas: o Bradford
o Calderdale o Kirklees
o Wakefield o York
- employ fewer than 250 employees
- commit to employ your apprentice for a minimum of 12 months, or for the time it takes them to complete their apprenticeship, whichever is longer
- agree to pay your apprentice the legal minimum requirements, at the very least. Contents of this briefing paper are subject to amendment 3.1.2017
recruit an apprentice aged 16-24 years old who starts their training with an SFA approved training provider between 1 January 2017 and 31 July 2017
In addition you will be asked to confirm that you are aware of and do not breach State Aid rules. If you are unsure about State Aid rules, you can find details at: www.gov.uk/state-aid.
To be eligible to claim the core grant where you have offered apprenticeships before you will need to be able to provide evidence such as a signed contract of employment to a previous apprentice and their first months’ pay slips. If you have any queries around suitable evidence please contact the LEP AGE Team AGE@the-lep.com
To be eligible to claim the extra £800 per apprentice incentive grant you will need to meet the additional criteria set out above.
You may be eligible if:
You are receiving funding from the LEP’s skill service to support other forms of training for current employees and have not taken on an apprentice before – providing funding for the apprenticeship is from a training provider’s core provision
You should contact any training organisations you have been working with recently to check whether they have accessed apprenticeship programme funding for learning they have provided to you. We would strongly urge you to do this if any of your employees have undertaken work-based learning such as NVQs (National Vocational Qualifications) or diplomas.
Do your apprentices have to meet eligibility criteria?
Yes, the aim of this grant is to support you to create new jobs and recruit new 16 to 24 year olds. Therefore your apprentices must be:
- New recruits or an individual moving into a new apprenticeship role within your organisation
- Aged 16 to 24 on the start date of their apprenticeship training, as recorded by your training provider for the Skills Funding Agency
- Enrolled on an apprenticeship framework or standard (from May 2017) through an approved training provider recognised by the Skills funding Agency (ask your training provider to confirm)
- On an apprenticeship programme in your business for at least 13 weeks
- Employed as an apprentice for a minimum of 30 hours per week
- Living in England
- Free to be an apprentice, not taking part in full-time education elsewhere
How does the LEP apprenticeship grant differ from other similar offers?
- The LEP grant is available to businesses that employ fewer than 250 employees, subject to availability, so more businesses are potentially eligible.
- The LEP grant offers businesses the opportunity to apply for up to three grants which could be up to a maximum value of £2,000 each (depending on business eligibility).
- Alternative apprenticeship grants are available for businesses based within other LEP areas where devolution of AGE has taken place.
- Also, additional grants may be available from other sources such as local authorities or professional bodies and institutions.
Contents of this briefing paper are subject to amendment 3.1.2017
Please check with your training provider which scheme you are eligible for. If you do not have a training provider or need more general help, please contact the Growth Service via BusinessGrowth@the-lep.com or call on 0113 348 1818
How do businesses apply for the LEP apprenticeship grant?
Businesses express interest via training providers. If you are linked to a training provider who is supporting you with apprenticeships, your provider should complete the registration form on the LEP website on your behalf once your apprentice/s start the learning programme (www.the- lep.com/age). This will be trigger the first of several eligibility checks – see attached process.
If your business passes initial eligibility checks, you will be contacted by a member of staff from the LEP by email with a request for you to complete a full grant application form. Due to the limited amount of funding available, the grant will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis.
How is the LEP grant paid?
Once your apprentice has been on their apprenticeship learning programme for 13 weeks, the LEP will contact you to gain confirmation that the apprentice is still in your employment and on their apprenticeship learning programme with the approved training provider and, to gather any additional evidence to support eligibility. Until this confirmation and evidence is provided, the LEP will be unable to process the grant.
Once all paperwork is received and eligibility confirmed, your grant will be paid directly into your bank account by BACS a minimum of 8 weeks after the apprentice has achieved the 13 weeks in learning criteria. The grant payment is made by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) on behalf of the LEP. As this is a grant it is exempt from VAT.
What happens if your apprentice leaves?
If your apprentice leaves or is dismissed after completing 13 weeks ‘in learning’ with an approved training provider, your entitlement to the grant payment remains. You are expected to provide ongoing employment to your apprentice(s) for the period of their apprenticeship, subject to satisfactory performance as an employee.
Is there a lot of paperwork? What is the process?
Paperwork has been kept to a minimum with the majority of details being recorded online. Once your training provider has made the initial enquiry, you will need to complete a grant application form, which will be emailed directly to you, with confirmation of eligibility for the grant. As part of the application form you will need to complete a State Aid declaration and, where appropriate, supporting evidence. You may need to liaise with your training provider for support in completing the grant application form. For more information on State Aid rules see: www.gov.uk/state-aid.
Details of businesses who have been awarded a LEP apprenticeship grant are published regularly on our LEP website http://www.the-lep.com/grantfunding
Contents of this briefing paper are subject to amendment 3.1.2017
The administration process is shown below:
Training provider completes online registration form via LEP website
LEP picks up online registration and starts eligibility checks
Training provider LEP
Training provider submits data about businesses/apprenticeships to the Skills Funding Agency
carries out full eligibility criteria checks
LEP matches the initial registration form with SFA data and
LEP to inform training
provider if, following full eligibility criteria checks, business is not eligible; LEP will inform training providers of business registrations where they haven’t received ILR data
LEP informs business by email if they have qualified to complete an application form. Email will include a link to grant application form requesting company details, apprenticeship details, bank account details for BACs payments, any relevant evidence and identification of any additional criteria being claimed
LEP to inform training providers when application form has been sent to a business they have registered
Business completes and submits grant application form to the LEP (training provider to support employer if needed)
13 week trigger – LEP to email business asking for confirmation that the apprentice is still employed and in learning along with request for any extra evidence required for the additional £800 incentive payment if applicable
Business confirms and submits via email link to LEP continued training and provides any additional evidence requirements
LEP review submitted evidence to clarify eligibility
pay eligible business grant direct via BACs
Contents of this briefing paper are subject to amendment
Who can you contact for help?
Employers already linked to a training provider should consult their training provider for further advice on the LEP apprenticeship grant.
If you are not linked to a training provider, the LEP can refer you to a relevant programme designed to help employers with less than 250 to recruit apprentices. Contact BusinessGrowth@the-lep.com or call on 0113 348 1818
Please note: the eligibility criteria and payment processes laid out in this guidance may be altered at any time by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA).
Notes: The WYCA has received control of the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers through its devolution agreement with government. Managing the apprenticeship grant programme at a local level has enabled WYCA to tailor the grant package to meet local priorities and needs. Businesses eligible for the LEP apprenticeship grant will no longer be able to apply for funding through the national scheme.
Contents of this briefing paper are subject to amendment 3.1.2017
Beginning in April 2017, the Apprenticeship Levy aims to help the UK create three million apprentices by 2020 – but how will it all work?
The levy will require businesses with an annual wage bill of more than £3m to spend 0.5% of that total bill on the levy.
Despite being introduced in April payments aren’t due to start until May 2017. Additionally, it’s up to the employers themselves to notify HMRC each month if their business is eligible to pay-in to the levy. The payment is paid directly to HMRC through the PAYE process.
The Government is also introducing a ‘levy allowance’ of £15,000 per year, which will be subtracted from the 0.5 per cent total.
What’s next for your Business?
Once businesses begin paying into the levy and are registered with HMRC, they will gain access to funding through a ‘digital apprenticeship service account.’ This will enable them to select and pay for Government-approved training, as well as post vacancies for apprenticeships that you may have.
Government-approved training simply means each training provider must pass quality and financial tests to make sure standards are consistent.
The Government tops-up each £1 placed into the scheme, meaning that for every £1 a business pays into their digital account, they get £1.10 back to spend. However, it is worth noting that these funds expire after 24 months.
Initially, the digital accounts will only be accessible to businesses paying into the Apprenticeship Levy, but by 2020 the Government aims to have the program accessible by all businesses.
Calculate What You Have to Pay
Businesses can work out exactly how much they need to pay in three simple steps:
- Work out exactly what you total wage bill is, including pensions and bonuses
- Work out what 0.5% of your total wage bill is
- Take away the £15,000 levy allowance
What’s left is the figure which must be paid into the Apprenticeship Levy.
Apprenticeship Levy Reactions so far
Marcus Mason, Head of Education and Skills at the British Chambers of Commerce, has said that “the Government’s immediate priority must now be to communicate these changes to the wider business community.
“Our recent survey showed that nearly 40 per cent of firms have no understanding, or haven’t heard of the levy – while just over half don’t understand how the funding reforms work. Communicating these changes effectively should be paramount.”
The Government hopes that the levy will become standard practice, just as the Workplace Pension Reforms have become.
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