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Why do UK Manufacturers see no benefit to the apprenticeship levy?

Posted by: Elena Craigie

The UK Government’s new apprenticeship levy – which requires all employers with a pay bill over £3m to invest 0.5% of this amount in apprentices – goes live on April 5th.

The Apprenticeship Levy has been introduced largely to address problems with skills shortages across a wide range of employment sectors in the UK, and the skills crisis could be even more pressing dependent on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, but today’s report by manufacturers’ association The EEF (Lifting the Lid on the Levy) suggests many companies believe the levy to be little more than a tax on businesses.

Three quarters of the businesses surveyed expressed concern that they would not see back what they had put into the levy, and a third claimed to foresee no benefits at all to the new scheme, which replaces all previous apprenticeship funding.

Terry Scuoler, EEF’s Chief Executive, said: "Despite much hard work and dialogue with Government, we are on the cusp of a policy rollout that continues to cause manufacturers great concern. Clearly the apprenticeship levy has the potential to bring benefits, but not enough to outweigh our sector’s reservations. With skills such a high priority these fears are entirely understandable and must be swiftly addressed."

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