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UK – Government updates apprenticeship levy

26 October 2016

The UK Government has announced changes to the apprenticeship levy, which is due to come into effect on April 2017.

“The government hopes that the levy will create three million new apprentice positions and has provided further details on how the new funding for apprentices is going to work,” Education Secretary Justine Greening, said. “That is why we are committed to 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020, spending £2.5 billion to transform this country’s investment in skills, in our people.”

“The new apprenticeship levy, which we are introducing in April 2017, will put the funding of apprenticeships on a sustainable long-term footing so we can support opportunities for all. The levy will be set at 0.5% of pay bill and only employers with a pay bill of more than £3 million will have to pay the levy. Employers that are not eligible to pay the levy will continue to receive government support towards the costs of apprenticeship training and assessment.

Greening said that the UK Government is reforming the way they fund apprenticeships, introducing a dedicated register of approved apprenticeship training providers and launching the employer-led Institute for Apprenticeships.

“Apprenticeships work,” Skills Minister Robert Halfon said. “The reforms we are rolling out will guarantee support from employers and government, so that millions of people can get the apprenticeships, skills and jobs for the future.”

“Our apprenticeship levy will boost our economic productivity, increase our skills base and give millions a leg up on the ladder of opportunity - over 90% of apprentices currently go into work or further training. Making Britain a world leader on apprenticeships is essential if we truly want a country that works for everyone,” Halfon said.

Trades Union Congress General Secretary Frances O’Grady commented:

“High-quality apprenticeships are vital to our economic growth, and to young workers looking for a decent start to their career. The levy will give a welcome boost to funding for apprenticeships, and will make sure that all employers who benefit from a skilled workforce are paying their way. Trade unions look forward to working with employers to make a success of the levy and the apprenticeships that it funds.”

For more details on the main measures confirmed in the apprenticeship levy update, click here.

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