The government has confirmed that a new apprenticeship levy will go ahead in 2017 meaning that employers with a payroll bill of more than £3 million will pay the new 0.5% levy. The government has also said that construction will pay both levies.
Under the plans for the levy, the government has proposed that employers that are too small to pay the levy – around 98% of employers in England – will have 90% of the costs of training paid for by the government, reassuring millions of small businesses.
Extra support – worth £2,000 per trainee – will also be available for employers and training providers that take on 16- to 18-year-old apprentices. Employers with fewer than 50 employees will also have 100% of training costs paid for by government if they take on these apprentices. This will help to ensure every young person, regardless of background or ability, has the chance to make their first step into work.
Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Robert Halfon said: “Our businesses can only grow and compete on the world stage if they have the right people, with the right skills. The apprenticeship levy will help create millions of opportunities for individuals and employers.”
Steve Radley, director of policy at CITB, said: “This announcement brings mixed news for construction, but it’s good that Government has responded to what we said on the challenges faced by smaller firms.
“But there is still work to do to make sure ensure funding bands reflect the actual costs of training, so that apprenticeships are affordable for companies of all sizes. We will seek further clarification from Government on how the bands have been set, and together with industry, set out the likely impact on construction firms and their ability to take on apprentices.”
The aim is to give employers more control and access to better quality training. Employers will have the power to determine exactly what training their apprentices receive and what provider they receive it from. A new register of training providers, will be introduced from April 2017 to improve the link between training providers.