One in three businesses unaware of apprenticeship levy.

‘A third of UK businesses are confused or unaware of the financial implications of the new apprenticeship levy due to be implemented in less than two months time, according to new research.

Across the country, just one in three businesses surveyed said they were fully aware of the levy, which will require all companies with a payroll totalling £3 million or more to invest 0.5 percent into the government’s apprenticeship scheme.

Coming into effect in April, it is hoped that the new charge will help the government reach its target of three million apprentices by 2020.

But new research published today by City & Guilds reveals that only 31 percent of respondents are planning to increase their number of apprentices, with 15 percent claiming that they would be forced to cut other recruitment schemes in order to offset the costs of the levy…

Kirstie Donnelly, managing director of City & Guilds, said: “The lack of awareness about the new apprenticeship system among our respondents is a cause for concern and shows that we still have a hill to climb in convincing people about the benefits apprentices can bring to business.

“With just two months to go until the levy begins, it’s vital that everyone in the skills sector and Government gets out there and communicates with these less enlightened businesses to help them see the huge potential benefits apprenticeships can bring.”’ - Telegraph

‘The results showed:

  • Only 33% felt fully informed about the new rules
  • A total of 28% were not sure whether it would affect their business
  • Only 31% said they would hire more apprentices because of the levy
  • And 15% said they would have to cut other recruitment schemes to pay it

The survey also showed 87% of employers were struggling to fill vacancies, with 29% agreeing this was true of apprenticeship places.’ - BBC

‘Neil Carberry, CBI director for people and skills policy, said: “Many CBI members have expressed serious concern about the lack of information they have received from the government about the implementation of the Apprenticeship Levy. 

“Since the levy was announced in July 2015, it’s taken the government 18 months of 21 available to design and prepare the policy, giving firms a very short window to understand and deliver the new changes.

“Even at this late stage, businesses are still waiting for clarity on crucial details, including the Digital Apprenticeship Service and apprenticeship standards.”’ – FE Week

‘Despite the lack of knowledge amongst employers many of the findings were extremely encouraging…47% felt that the levy was a great way to get employers to pay for training, 43% felt that it gave employers more control over the system and 34% felt that it would increase quality.

A majority of respondents stated that they intend to manage part or all of their apprenticeship programme in house (72%). Whilst this is a good option for many organisations and should be supported and encouraged, employers must be fully aware of the implications this would place upon them such as the need to be inspected by OFSTED.’ – FE News

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