Employer choice critical to Levy regime

man in suit with folders

Employer choice will be central to Levy introduction, according to the government’s director of implementation. Keith Smith, speaking to delegates at the AELP conference, said that the principle of allowing employers to evaluate and decide the best training approach and provider would be enshrined at the heart of the new regime.

“It’s central to what we need: For me it’s about who’s best placed to do the right programme,” he told delegates from across the UK. “If that’s employers who want to take control, great. If it’s new providers coming onto the market, great. If it’s the current stock of providers that want to offer their good quality offer, great. All of those things are great – everyone can come forward equally, level playing field, and let the employer choose”


Consultation critical to deliver the right system

Smith also pledged to continue consultations with the training sector in order to design a system that works to benefit all stakeholders. : “What we want to do is find is find a simple, fair way to test everybody about the sorts of things you know is what should happen in a good performing or high performing college or training provider.

“We won’t make any decisions on the detail or the substance of it until we’ve engaged on that conversation with you.”

Smith’s sentiments were echoed by AELP chief executive Mark Dawe, who agreed that the apprenticeship reforms must work for businesses of all sizes.  “Independent training providers act as the salesforce for the programme and no one should kid themselves that this is going to change after the levy comes in,” he said. “In fact they are out there selling now.  We really want to get behind the reforms and therefore providers need to be confident that this week’s announcements will help them in talking to employers and increasing the number of apprenticeships.”