‘The Church of England is hoping to use funds raised by the government’s apprenticeship levy to help pay for the training of 6,000 new clergy to replace those approaching retirement.
“The church would very much like to see the levy being used to train more ordinands,” MP Caroline Spelman told colleagues in her capacity as second church estates commissioner, who coordinates between the church and parliament.
Spelman said she hoped the government would support “the church’s quest to use some of the moneys from the apprenticeship levy to meet its shortfall” of clergy.
The church has raised the possibility with the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (Bis), though it stressed that talks were at an early stage. It is also expecting to pay into the apprenticeship levy, under which large employers will contribute towards funding the government’s target of 3 million apprentices.
“The C of E pays stipends to 8,000 clergy and others through a central payroll system for simplicity and efficiency, so will have to pay the apprenticeship levy,” said a spokesperson.’ - Guardian