Employers call for apprenticeship levy reform

24 Jan

More than half (53%) of employers currently paying the apprenticeship levy would like to see it replaced with a ‘training levy’, according to a new survey carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Of more than 1,000 employers questioned, just 17% of those paying the levy said they supported it, while four in ten claimed it would make ‘little or no difference’ to the training they provide.

The study also revealed that 46% of levy-paying employers will simply ‘rebadge’ their existing training in order to meet the requirements.

Introduced in April 2017, the apprenticeship levy is paid by employers with a pay bill of more than £3 million each year. The levy is 0.5% of the pay bill, although there is an annual allowance of £15,000.

The change was included as part of a package of measures to reform the funding of apprenticeships for all employers.

Commenting on the survey’s findings, Lizzie Crowley, Skills Adviser at the CIPD, said: ‘Our research shows that the straitjacket of the apprenticeship levy is forcing many firms to re-badge a lot of their existing training as apprenticeships, as they seek to claw back the levy they pay. In many instances this is not adding any additional value and is creating a lot of additional bureaucracy and cost.

She continued: ‘The government needs to seriously review the levy to ensure it is flexible enough to respond to employers’ needs and to drive the greater investment in high quality training and workplace skills needed to boost UK productivity.’

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