Employers at loggerheads over apprenticeship levy, claims CIPD survey

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has released a new survey that reveals employer’s concerns over the apprenticeship levy, with companies fearing that the government is sacrificing quality over quantity.



Apprenticeship levy

October 2nd marks the closure date for the government’s apprenticeship levy consultation, which was designed to gain the publics opinion over the Tories plan to create three million new apprenticeships by 2020.

This summer Chancellor Osborne announced that large businesses would have to pay a small tax in order to fund the initiative.

The CIPD surveyed 275 business leaders, with 30 per cent of them believing that the levy would encourage businesses to develop an apprenticeship programme to help build key skills. The same amount of respondents also believed that the number of apprentices in the UK would increase because of the levy.

There is a definite split in opinion regarding the effects of the levy, with 31 per cent of business owners under the impression that the legislation would cause them to reduce their investment in other areas of workforce training and development.

Nearly a quarter (22 per cent) or respondents believe that employers

The survey also reveals that:

  • Less than half (47 per cent) of employers want to use the cash from the levy in order to fund their own apprenticeship recruitment system.
  • Only 10 per cent of business leaders want the apprenticeship to fund Level 3 qualifications or above.


Quantity over quality

Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, believes that the government are right to put a focus on apprenticeships, but needs to make sure that quality apprenticeships are ensured during this process.

‘‘Our survey suggests that boosting both numbers and quality at the same time will be a significant challenge. If the Government is serious about raising the quality of our apprenticeship system, it is important the levy is weighted towards increasing the number of apprenticeships at or above level 3.’’

‘‘It’s also important the apprenticeships levy is not regarded as a solution in itself to the skills and productivity challenges facing the UK.’’

‘‘Apprenticeships are important, but to ensure that people’s skills are developed and used effectively in the workplace, we also need to prioritise investment in organisations’ leadership and people management capability which underpins more strategic workforce investment.’’