The apprenticeship levy remains one of the key tenets of the Government’s approach to address the skills gap in the UK and develop domestic skills. Tech companies in the UK, whether British or international, have embraced the opportunities brought by the introduction of the apprenticeship levy in 2017, and welcomed recent Government reforms. However, there is still more that can be done to ensure the levy works for both businesses and apprentices, and that the tech industry continues to be a positive force for apprenticeship development in the UK.
Although not exclusive to British and Indian tech companies, the operational challenges for domestic skills development, particularly related to the utilisation of the levy, have been recently highlighted by techUK and NASSCOM members through our joint work under the UK-India Tech Alliance, as part of the broader UK-India Tech Partnership, formed in April 2018, between both the UK and Indian governments.
Key reforms to the apprenticeship levy that would benefit all stakeholders, including UK and Indian companies, apprentices and the Government include:
- Broadening the apprenticeship levy into a skills & training levy
- Increasing the lifetime of apprenticeship levy funds from two to five years
- Increasing the percentage of transferable funds from 25 per cent to 80 per cent
Between May 2017 and April 2019, levy-paying employers spent 18 per cent of the funds available to them on the training and assessment of new apprentices but there is much more we can do enable employers to use all the resources available to them for skills training and to remove the barriers that prevent it from working at its most effective.
Please find the position paper at the below link.