Apprentice Levy still not understood by 40% of businesses – Infographic

The levels of understanding of the Apprentice Levy among UK businesses are still worryingly low, according to new research from the British Chambers of Commerce.

The research reveals that 39% of firms still have no understanding, or haven’t heard of, the Apprenticeship Levy, a very high figure given the amount of coverage and comment the Levy has generated in the last six months.

Meanwhile, just over half – 51% – of businesses don’t understand how the funding reforms work above or below the £3m pay bill threshold, a situation that skills minister Robert Halfon will need to address as the deadline draws near, particularly urgent given that 30% of medium-sized businesses say that they fall under the scope of the Levy

Ultimately, the BCC says that businesses don’t believe that apprenticeship reforms will change their training outlook – only 11% say reforms will increase their recruitment of apprentices, while just 5% say they will have a positive impact on their wider training budget.

 

workforce-survey-infographic-apprenticeships

 

Marcus Mason, head of education and skills at the BCC, said: Firms value apprenticeships as way of developing skills and increasing productivity. However, with just six months to go until the Levy is introduced, our research shows the government needs to step up its communication to business.

“The government needs to ensure that businesses understand how they could benefit from the reforms, because if it just feels like yet another tax then then the policy will have failed. Devolved administrations also need to provide a guarantee that the money raised is ring-fenced and kept for training.

“The government should allow businesses to use the Levy funding to support other high-quality workplace training or there is a risk of displacing other valid forms of training. Fundamentally, treating apprenticeships as a numbers game would benefit neither businesses nor apprentices themselves.”