Introduced by the UK government as part of its Industrial Strategy in April 2017, the apprenticeship levy has been marred by controversy from the start. Organisations with a pay bill of £3 million or more must now spend 0.5 per cent of this cost on the levy, and so it’s been touted by some as a ‘tax on employers’ - despite its overarching goal to increase skills and productivity across the UK.
However, apprenticeships provide some incredible benefits to employers that are getting lost amongst the debate: greater access to skilled workers, enhanced retention and attraction, and improved organisational performance are just some of these. And now, with the introduction of higher and degree level apprenticeships, employers can use the funding to build up the higher-level skills they require to future-proof their organisations against the changing world around them.
One year on from its introduction, this report investigates business leaders’ attitudes towards the apprenticeship levy, and suggests changes that could improve businesses’ experiences and help make the initiative a success.
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