‘Nearly all employers will only have to contribute 10 per cent to the cost of an apprenticeship from April 2017, the Department for Education has announced this morning.
This means the government will pay 90 per cent of the costs for 98 per cent of employers, those with annual wage bills below £3m and thus not paying the levy.
Despite retaining plans to introduce a mandatory cash contribution for the first time it will be hoped this generous 10 per cent arrangement (it is 33 per cent in the pilot) will address fears that small employers wouldn’t engage in the reformed apprenticeship programme.
However, Mark Dawe, chief executive at the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, is very concerned about the impact of a mandatory employer fee. He told FE Week: “the insistence of a cash contribution from could in our view still have a very negative impact. Therefore AELP has asked ministers to keep the matter under review. The requirement should be quickly phased out if our fears about the impact are realised.”
Robert Halfon, the newly appointed Apprenticeships and Skills Minister said today: “We need to make sure people of all ages and backgrounds have a chance to get on in life. Apprenticeships give young people – especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds – a ladder of opportunity. That’s why we continue to work tirelessly to deliver the skills our country needs. The apprenticeship levy is absolutely crucial to this.’ – FE Week