Andy Willox, FSB’s Aberdeen-based Scottish policy convenor has said that funds raised by the Apprentice Levy should be channelled into vocational skills centres: “Skills shortages still present a real problem for smaller firms who can find key specialist staff poached by larger competitors,” he wrote in a submission to the Scottish government, which is has been consulting on how it will manage and distribute the levy funds.
“The academy model offers new options for both employers and those looking to develop vocational skills,” Willox said.
“These institutions would reach agreement with employers about the skills they need and, in turn, guarantee opportunities for a proportion of the intake.”
Mr Willox said: “With a little bit of imagination and co-operation between industry and education, I’ve no doubt we can make the vocational academy model work on a larger scale.”
A Scottish Government consultation on how funding from the apprenticeship levy should be used north of the border ended last week.
The Scottish government has been vocal in its commitment to apprentices in the last few years, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon committing to creating 5,000 apprentices to plug the country’s skills gap. A spokesman for the SNP administration said: “Employers of all sizes have submitted their views and their input will be crucial in delivering our ambitions for inclusive economic growth.
“We will be considering the responses swiftly to ensure arrangements are in place to use the levy as soon as possible.”