The Treasury has announced that businesses eligible to pay the apprenticeship levy will receive a 10 per cent top-up on their contributions, in a document published to coincide with the Chancellor’s Budget.
This additional amount on a company’s monthly contribution, the document states, can be used to fund “apprenticeship training through their digital account”.
While the document assured that more details would be revealed in April, with draft finding rates due to be published in June, the Chartered Management Institute has called for urgent clarification.
CMI director of external affairs, Petra Wilton, said: “Business urgently needs further clarification from the Chancellor on the funding of the quality apprenticeships that will sustain Britain’s economic growth.”
The chief executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, Stewart Segal, added: “We will need to understand how exactly the top-up will work and, in particular, how it will work for those only paying a small levy.”
Low productivity will cost
Wilton pointed out, however, that moves to increase the numbers of well-trained staff – specifically managers – would benefit business. Investing in high-quality training for managers is more than cost effective in the long run, she added.
“Degree apprenticeships will create a generation of true professionals capable of delivering significant business returns to employers,” Wilton said. “Businesses opposing the apprenticeship levy must realise that the greatest cost to jobs is the low productivity of managers already in the workplace.
Investment is a boost
“The levy tackles a blind spot in that 71 per cent of businesses admit that they fail to effective train first-time managers. Investment in the next generation of managers has been shown to be more than repaid by the productivity gains they deliver.
“The new Chartered Manager degree apprenticeship funded by the Levy will create a generation of true professionals capable of delivering significant business returns to their employers.”