Apprenticeship levy raises concerns, says NFDA

In April 2017 a new apprenticeship levy will be introduced with the purpose of increasing the quality and number of apprenticeships across UK. Employers with a wage-bill of less than £3 million will not pay the levy, whereas those with a wage-bill of £3 million or more will have to contribute at a rate of 0.5 per cent of their pay bill. However, the first £3 million of the payroll will be excluded by a discount that will give some relief, in line with smaller businesses.

“It is extremely positive to see that the number of young people expressing their interest in apprenticeships has increased, but it is important that apprenticeship schemes are properly structured by the Government to encourage employers to offer them,” said Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association.

The additional cost does not seem to be the only concern for businesses, which have raised the concern about the difficulty to attract young people

Robinson continued: “Apprenticeships mutually benefit employees and employers. They provide young individuals with specific skills, who then are also more likely to remain loyal to the employers.

“According to recent surveys two thirds of manufacturers mentioned a lack of technical skills among applicants and a record number of employers intend to recruit apprentices this year as a result.

“Employers, want to see the link of these apprenticeships to specific sectors that are experiencing skills shortages. Many businesses are new to apprenticeships schemes and therefore have clearly expressed their need for guidance on how to run successful trailblazer apprenticeship programmes.

“Apprenticeship imply investments and employers want to be sure that they will be able to use the funding obtained from the levy properly.”

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