‘The director general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) wants the April next year launch date for the apprenticeship levy to be delayed unless the government backs down on its phased implementation plan, FE Week can reveal.
Carolyn Fairbairn said in an exclusive interview that the CBI was concerned about “a large number of unanswered questions” and risks associated with implementing a “half-finished system”.
She will raise concerns about the “extraordinarily tight timeframe” and call for a “radical rethink”, in a speech to business leaders in the City of London.
A spokesperson said she will stress that “the digital system which manages levy spend must be ready and able to support the delivery of apprenticeship training which businesses need, in full and from the start”.
This goes against updated government guidance on how it will work, which revealed plans for phased delivery — with the system not intended to be fully operational until 2020, as reported by FE Week reported on April 21.
When asked yesterday whether it meant the CBI wanted the launch pushed back, Ms Fairbairn would initially only say that “delay is certainly an option”.
But she subsequently accepted concern that it would be almost impossible for the government to have a fully fledged system in place within 11 months, and added: “If that is the case then we think there’s really no option but to have a delay, absolutely right”.’ – FE Week