NFDA adds voice to Levy delay calls

Another voice has joined the call to postpone the introduction of the Apprentice Levy. Last week, employers from Britain’s largest manufacturing association, the EEF, joined with the CBI business lobby group, the Charity Finance Group and the Institute of Directors in appealing for the levy to be postponed for at least a year.

They have been joined today by the National Franchise Dealership Association (NFDA), the automotive body that represents franchised car and commercial vehicle dealers in the UK. “The NFDA supports recent calls by businesses to the government to delay the apprenticeship levy”, said Sue Robinson, NFDA Director.

“Following the decision to leave the EU and considering the short term economic uncertainty that the country is likely to face, many businesses are now in the process of adapting to the current situation,” Robinson said in a statement today.

The new apprenticeship levy due to start in April 2017 will be applied to employers with a wage-bill of over £3m who will contribute with a tax of 0.5% of their wage-bill.

 

Delay introduction by ‘at least one year

“Although apprenticeships will positively benefit employers addressing skills shortages through targeted training, with the new levy coming into force in April 2017, businesses might struggle with this additional cost. The NFDA urges the government to delay the levy by at least one year to allow businesses to cope with changes and avoid unintended consequences such as job losses and pay cuts.”

The NFDA’s stance comes days after several major bodies, including the IoD and CBI called for a delay to the April start.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Terry Scuoler, chief executive of the EEF, “A clear ask for industry, and manufacturing in particular, is a complete review and delay of the apprenticeship levy for at least two years. In an ideal world, of course, we would like to see [the levy] booted into the long grass, but we have to be pragmatic and a delay would clearly be better than the situation we currently face, where the levy risks being a chaotic failure.”