The 10% fee that small businesses pay for apprentices will be halved from April 1st 2019

Chancellor Philip Hammond has revealed that the 10% fee that small businesses must pay when they take on apprentices will be halved from April 1st 2019.

In his Budget speech in October, Philip Hammond announced that the contribution non-levy paying companies pay towards apprenticeship training would fall to 5%. In his Spring statement the chancellor said:

“To help small businesses take on more apprentices I can announce that I am bringing forward the £700 million package of reforms I announced at the budget to the start of the new financial year in April.”

The 5% contribution will only apply to new starters when the change
comes into effect. The policy will also apply to levy-paying employers when their levy pot is empty. The government predicts that
cutting the co-investment in half will cost the Treasury an extra £70 million a year by 2022.

Don’t forget to consider using the NSAR Apprenticeship Levy Planner – designed to model the apprenticeship programmes that best fit the needs of an employer, small or large. The calculator is easy to use allowing employers to quickly see how to optimise its levy contribution and ensure that they are developing and investing in the right skills needed for the future.

For more information or to see how the NSAR Apprentice Levy Planner can help you, click here.

HSRIL Jigsaw Map – “Bringing the country back together”

HSRIL have developed a map bringing the country back together which shows the inter-relatedness of the HS2, Northern Power House Rail and Midlands Engine Rail schemes. The map was produced on a large jigsaw, and launched in Birmingham with HS2 Minister, Nusrat Ghani MP, West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council.   The map will be used at HRSIL summer conference as well as regional events throughout the year.

To view the map or for more information click here.

Find it difficult to recruit for some roles within your organisation?

Need help to engage a diverse range of people into roles within your organisation? NSAR is partnering with DWP to highlight job opportunities across their Jobcentre Plus network using Skills Live. The online platform brings to life the skills of job roles through the experiences of employees.

Why not make a video with us to encourage diversity and engage the next generation into employment?

To see how you can get involved or for more information please contact:

DfE releases Apprenticeship funding in England from April 2019 Document

The document sets out the policy for apprenticeship funding in England from 1st April 2019. It updates the policy that has been in place since August 2018. Since the introduction of apprenticeship reforms, we have received feedback from employers, training providers and interested groups.
This document setting out the funding policy is supported by:

  • Published funding bands for individual frameworks and standards.
  • The full funding rules that set out more detail on how this funding policy will work in practice and our expectations of employers and providers.

To download the document click here.

The right skills and expertise will be needed for major track works

Network Rail has announced the final preferred bidder for delivery of track upgrade works for the next decade in Central England. It includes track, points, and associated overhead lines and signalling, and is worth an estimated over £1.5bn over 10 years.

The latest contract award covers work in London North West, London North East and East Midlands routes and has been awarded to Balfour Beatty, TSO and SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business. This follows an announcement earlier this year confirming Babcock Rail, Arup and Arcadis as the preferred bidders for Scotland and Colas Rail and AECOM for the South, completing the full picture of rail system work in the UK.

NSAR knows that major track works will require human resource with the appropriate skills and expertise to deliver. NSAR’s Skills & Training division offers a range of services to assist in developing and training the right people to support employers embarking on major projects.

To find out more, click here

Railway Industry Association’s (RIA) Electrification Cost Challenge Report

In 2018, the Railway Industry Association (RIA) launched a new initiative to see how the costs of rail electrification schemes could be reduced. This initiative has become known as the Electrification Cost Challenge. It brings together a number of Tier 1 and Tier 2 contractors, consultants and suppliers of electrification infrastructure together with other stakeholders to investigate why costs are high and what can
be done to reduce them. This report will:

  • Set out the benefits of electrification for passengers and customers, and how it supports the Government’s Decarbonisation Challenge;
  • Summarise UK electrification strategy since 2007;
  • Discuss the Great Western Electrification Project (GWEP) and the reasons that it failed;
  • Highlight the lessons that have been learnt as well as evidence that electrification can be, and is being, delivered for between 33%-50% of the costs of some recent projects using examples from around the UK and internationally.

To download the report click here.

Quality Assurance is crucial to rail safety

Dyer & Butler Electrical has achieved one million hours worked without sustaining a RIDDOR reportable injury incident and with no Lost Time Injuries reported. Sustainability and Training director Steve Broom said `“this success has been achieved through the hard work and dedication of the teams involved who have adopted an open safety culture which promotes the reporting of close calls and the swift rectification of any matters that could potentially result in harm to the workforce and the environments in which it operates.

NSAR’s Quality Assurance team are dedicated to ensuring that training provision is to the standard demanded by the industry so that safety remains essential. We know that the benefits to your business are higher productivity, increased revenues, improved customer satisfaction, greater retention of key workers and enhanced company reputation.

For more information on NSAR Quality Assurance click here.

Are you on board with Skills Live?

NSAR is partnering with DWP to highlight job opportunities in rail across their Jobcentre Plus network using Skills Live – a web-based platform which will bring to life the skills of job roles through the experiences of employees.

Are you on board to help us get more people into employment?

Work with NSAR to create video content for Skills Live and inspire the next generation of employees and encourage diversity within the rail industry.

To see how you can get involved or for more information please contact:

New station construction requires the right skills and expertise

Mace and Dragados has signed a £1.3bn contract with HS2 over the construction of Euston station. The announcement comes just over a month after HS2 revealed the construction teams that had won the contracts to deliver the London Euston Terminus and the super-hub Old Oak Common Station, with Mace/Dragados winning the former. Balfour Beatty and Vinci Constructions won the contract for Old Oak Common, but earlier this month Bechtel sued HS2 over its handling of the tender process.

With this signing comes the need to acquire people with appropriate skills and expertise to executive construction. NSAR’s Skills & Training division offers a range of services to assist in developing and training the right people to support employers embarking on major projects.

To find out more, click here


Rail and academia working together is mutually beneficial for both parties

The Rail Alliance and Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) have officially announced the formal integration of the two organisations to an audience of over 300 industry leaders and professionals at Millennium Point in Central Birmingham (next to the site of the future High Speed 2 station at Curzon Street).

The coming together of Rail Alliance and BCRRE demonstrates another great both example of industry and academia working in partnership to directly address real railway challenges.

NSAR’s National Training Partnership also unites academia and industry by bringing together the National Network of Colleges and Training Providers, the Training Alliance and Quality Assurance provision to support the UK rail industry in achieving an integrated approach to education, professional development and training.

To find out more about the National Training Partnership click here.