Employers in the dark about Apprenticeship Levy

It seems whoever is responsible for promoting the Apprenticeship Levy is missing its target, with a new survey reporting that a third of employers liable to pay in not even aware of its existence.

The Levy is being introduced in April with the intention of creating three million new apprenticeships.

However, a City and Guilds skills group survey of 500 organisations found that only 33% felt they had enough information about it; 28% weren’t sure how it would affect their business and 15% thought they’d have to cut other recruitment schemes to pay for it. Only 31% expected to hire more apprentices as a result of the Levy.

City and Guilds managing director Kirstie Donnelly said, ‘We still have a hill to climb in convincing people about the benefits apprentices can bring to business.’

The survey also showed that, overall, 47% felt the Levy was a good way to get employers to pay for training, 43% said it gave them more control and 34% believed it would improve quality.

A Department for Education spokesman said, ‘Employers are at the heart of our apprenticeship reforms and have been working with us since 2013 to create the apprenticeship standards and ensure they are high quality and deliver the skills that they need.

‘We have also published a detailed levy guide for employers and an online calculator that enables them to understand how much levy they will pay and how they could use their digital funds to pay for training in future.’

In simple terms, the new Levy will see employers with a wage bill of over £3m paying 0.5% into a digital apprenticeship service account, while smaller companies won’t have to contribute but can draw from it, and take advantage of the online apprenticeship resources available.

Don’t miss our feature on the Apprenticeship Levy in the March issue of bodyshop Magazine.