You may recall our April blog post, following the first anniversary of the controversial Apprenticeship Levy coming into force, in which we focussed on what was mainly a year’s worth of criticism for the Levy. We are now happy to be able to report some more positive news on this front. Since coming into force, those employers paying the Levy were able to transfer up to 10% of their apprenticeship service funds to one other employer. The UK Government have now announced that, from this month, those employers will be able to transfer that 10% to as many employers as they choose.
The aim is to allow larger employers to fund training in smaller employers in their group or supply chain who may not have the resources to fund apprenticeships themselves. In our previous post, we highlighted the fact that one of the criticisms most consistently aimed at the Levy by businesses was its lack of flexibility and practicality. In announcing the new feature at the end of June, the Apprenticeships and Skills Minister, Anne Milton, stated that the government were listening to the requests made by businesses and, as asked, were introducing this change to ” extend the flexibility of the apprenticeship system”.
Although this is certainly a step in the right direction the British Chambers of Commerce have called for further action. The organisation’s head of skills, Jane Gretton, has said that, while they have welcomed the news, they would like to see employers given the option to share up to 50% of their service funds elsewhere. This would represent a more radical change to the current position but is not completely beyond the realms of possibility with enough support and the government willing to listen to businesses and implement changes in the wake of criticism.
If you have any questions regarding the Apprenticeship Levy or how to use/transfer the funds available, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team for advice.