Amendment of the Apprenticeship Levy needed now

Local recruitment company M65Jobsearch are backing the Recruitment and Employment Confederations petition calling on the government to amend its Apprenticeship levy.

Mark Wiggan MD at M65Jobsearch said “With the skills shortage hitting companies across all sectors especially engineering, manufacturing and construction, it’s imperative that we take action as soon as possible and amending the restrictive apprenticeship levy is a good place to start. It’s poorly designed, inflexible and doesn’t reflect modern working practices. Changing it to a flexible training levy seems like a much more sensible and workable idea”

The REC’s petition urges the government to reform the levy so that temporary workers can also train in courses, addressing key shortages and helping them grow their careers. These quick interventions are cost-effective and would increase pay and progression opportunities for workers, as well as addressing the skills shortage for employers. But these temporary workers aren’t currently supported by the existing levy which is designed to promote training only for people in permanent, longer-term roles.  The government’s existing policy doesn’t acknowledge that more employers rely on skilled temporary workers and more employees want to do temporary and flexible work. 

In a further survey of 2,000 levy-paying employers, recently carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development,  58 per cent said spending on workplace training in their organisation had either flatlined or declined since the levy scheme was introduced because they do not think the arrangements fit with their operations. The CIPD report also recommended widening the definition of the type of training that levy-payers can spend the funds on beyond just permanent apprenticeships.

Mark added: “With more and more research showing how ineffective the apprenticeship levy has been in addressing the skills shortage something must been done and done quickly. It’s the employers and recruitment agencies that are at the sharp end of this shortage trying desperately to fill these skilled roles. If it means allowing the levy to be used in training temporary workers then we must push for this to address the immediate problem.”