Levy uncertainty having “chilling effect” on business

Following on from criticism from the CBI last week, the chief executive of the British Chambers of Commerce has added his voice to business concerns over the apprentice levy.

“Business are telling us that uncertainty around the apprenticeship levy is having an impact on them, both on their profits and on their training offers,” Adam Marshall, acting director-general of the BCC, told The Daily Telegraph.

Marshall was commenting in the wake of a speech by Carolyn Fairbairn of the CBI in which she said the way in which the levy was being run needed a ‘radical rethink’.

Chilling effect

Now Marshall has added to those concerns, stating that uncertainty continues to dog business: “We have heard of incidences where companies have had to cut back their existing training offers, which were successful, in anticipation of having to pay an apprenticeship levy simply because their training was not an official apprenticeship.”

The BCC chief was blunt in his assessment, saying. “The government needs to sort itself out quickly or it could have a chilling effect on other training investment.”

The BCC has been broadly supportive of apprenticeships, and in March 2016 continued its “Your Future project”  , with 32 Chambers of Commerce delivering a total of 250 careers events for 70,000 young people aged 14-24. This activity, led by St Helens Chamber and supported by the Skills Funding Agency, has already supported over 15,000 young people to inform their career options.