William Eichler 09 October 2018

Reform Apprenticeship Levy ahead of Brexit, CBI says

Reform Apprenticeship Levy ahead of Brexit, CBI says image

Business leaders have urged the Government to reform the Apprenticeship Levy in order to help solve some of the economy’s underlying challenges ahead of Brexit.

In their submission to chancellor Philip Hammond before the Budget, the CBI called on Whitehall to do more to tackle the country’s skills shortage.

Describing the Budget as an opportunity to set the tone for a post-Brexit economy, the business pressure group said that while investing in capital is ‘vital’, there will not be ‘an inch of progress in tackling the economy’s underlying challenges unless we invest in people.’

The CBI’s submission welcomed the recent reform to the Apprenticeship Levy, which requires all public and private employers with a wage bill of more than £3m to contribute 0.5% of this expenditure. The aim is to fund three million places for apprentices by 2020.

The reform means that levy-paying employers will be able to make transfers of up to 25% to as many other employers as they wish. This enables companies to support training in smaller companies which might not be able to fund apprenticeships.

However, despite welcoming this reform as well as an increase in funding for the National Retraining Partnership, the CBI warned the Levy was still a ‘heavy part of the cumulative burden weighing on firms’ and called for it to be reformed.

The pressure group called on Whitehall to make it easier for small businesses (SMEs) to access Apprenticeship Levy funds by reducing the cap for SMEs from 10% to 5%.

Currently, non-levy paying employers will contribute 10% of the cost of training an apprentice and the Government will pay the remaining 90%. Reducing the cap for SMEs to 5% would make it easier for them to access levy funding.

The CBI also called for the introduction of a flexible skills levy after 2020, to include life-long learning, as well as a doubling of the budget of the Institute for Apprenticeships to £28m to give it the capacity to approve training schemes ‘quickly and efficiently.’

‘As we near the end of Brexit negotiations, the world’s gaze is fixed on these shores. This Budget is a pivotal moment and chance to showcase the UK as an open, collaborative and confident nation,’ said Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director-general.

‘Entrepreneurs here and around the world need to see a UK committed to harnessing the power of business to innovate and tackle problems, from sustainability to inequality.

‘With skills shortages, uncertainty and the squeeze in incomes on the rise, this couldn’t be a more critical time to plug the drain on the UK’s productivity and deliver prosperity that is shared by workforces and communities across the country.

‘The Government must focus its attention on making the UK a shining beacon of enterprise, at the top of every investment league table and known worldwide as a country that attracts, not deters, capital and talent.’

Highways jobs

Casual Lifeguard

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 3 - £9.29 per hour
It's exciting times at Riverside Leisure Centre with a brand new centre set to open in Spring 2019 and we need you to get on board and help us make... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Director of Operations (Assistant Director for Children’s Social Care)

Slough Children's Services Trust
circa £100k p.a.
As a qualified social worker, you will have significant experience of managing statutory social work delivery at a senior level. Slough, Berkshire
Recuriter: Slough Children's Services Trust

Deputy Director Children’s Social Care

City of Bradford MDC
£96,603 - £102,287
Our new Deputy Director will play a pivotal role in leading the department through a major improvement journey.  Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Educational Psychologist - 2 jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£44,563- £48,223
If you are a trainee in your final year or an experienced EP who is looking for a new opportunity we would love to hear from you. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Planning Enforcement Officer

Brent Council
£29,241 – £38,799 p.a. inc
Do you have a degree or recognised post graduate qualification in planning or a science/environmental subject? Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

The March issue of Local Government News explores alternative funding channels that are available to councils beyond the Public Works Loan Board, what hurdles merging councils face in coming together, and how local government is handling GDPR.

This issue also has a special highways and street lighting section exploring how councils can use lighting to embark on their smart city journey and using IoT technology to weather the storm.

Register for your free magazine