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UK Businesses in dark on Apprenticeship Levy

Staff Writer |
With just over six months to go until the Apprenticeship Levy is introduced, the survey of over 1,600 business leaders across the UK shows that 39% of business people still have no understanding, or haven’t heard of, the Apprenticeship Levy.

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The survey also shows that many medium-sized businesses (employing between 50-249 staff) will have to pay the levy, with 30% of those surveyed saying that they will fall under the scope of the Levy.

Furthermore, only a quarter (26%) of businesses expect to recover all or more of their Levy payment – suggesting that for most businesses, it will feel like a tax.

Marcus Mason, Head of Education and Skills at the BCC, said: "Firms value apprenticeships as way of developing skills and increasing productivity. However, with just six months to go until the Levy is introduced, our research shows the government needs to step up its communication to business.

"The government needs to ensure that businesses understand how they could benefit from the reforms, because if it just feels like yet another tax then then the policy will have failed. Devolved administrations also need to provide a guarantee that the money raised is ring-fenced and kept for training."

In spring 2017 the way the government funds apprenticeships in England is changing. Some employers will be required to contribute to a new apprenticeship levy, and there will be changes to the funding for apprenticeship training for all employers.

The apprenticeship levy requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill over £3 million each year, to make an investment in apprenticeships. You can benefit from this investment by training apprentices.

This guidance provides information on how the apprenticeship levy will work, from when it is introduced on April 6, 2017.

It also explains the principles that apprenticeship funding will operate on from May 1, 2017, whether you pay the levy or not.

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