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Millions Of New Apprenticeships Up For Grabs Before 2020

06 Apr 2017

Millions Of New Apprenticeships Up For Grabs Before 2020

Millions of new apprenticeships are set to be on offer to young people in the UK with the introduction, today, of the Apprenticeship Levy for companies.

The government has introduced the levy in an effort to raise £3 billion of apprenticeship training funding per year which it forecasts will create three million new apprenticeships across all sectors over the next three years.

The Apprenticeship Levy is set at 0.5% of an employer’s overall wage bill for organisations with payrolls over £3 million per year. In return employers will receive an annual allowance of £15,000 to spend on approved apprenticeship training programmes.

The great news for young people is that, in the short term at least, there should be lots more apprenticeships in a wider variety of skill sets on offer. Indeed, the levy could in fact produce a ‘candidates market’ with potentially more apprenticeships up for grabs than there are keen apprentices looking to fill them.

The government describes their policy objective with the Apprenticeship Levy by saying:

“[We are] committed to boosting productivity by investing in human capital. As part of this, the government is committed to developing vocational skills, and to increasing the quantity and quality of apprenticeships. It has committed to an additional 3 million apprenticeship starts in England by 2020.”

“The levy will help to deliver new apprenticeships and it will support quality training by putting employers at the centre of the system. Employers who are committed to training will be able to get back more than they put in by training sufficient numbers of apprentices.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Education said: “We want to build a world-class education and skills system that will give everyone a chance to climb the ladder of opportunity to rewarding careers. Quality is at the heart of our reforms. That is why we have given employers more freedom than ever before to design training that works for them and ensure it delivers the skills and knowledge that our economy needs.”

“We have been working closely with employer bodies, including the CBI, to help them and their members prepare to make the most of the opportunities available,” added the spokesperson.

Robert Halfon, Minister of State at the Department for Education, continued: “For too long there has been underinvestment in British skills for the benefit of all. Through the apprenticeships levy, we will now have a system which helps and encourages businesses to invest in the skills they need, while helping people to climb the ladder of opportunity.”

The efforts by the government have been praised in some quarters, with Chief Executive Officer of apprenticeship training organisation Gloucestershire Engineering Training, Linsey Temple, saying: “I think the government supporting apprenticeships and really promoting it has driven people. I also think from a young person’s point of view with all the publicity around going to university and racking up debt, it’s giving the youngsters more information to make decisions.”

Ian Pease, commercial director at East Coast College which now has over 1,000 apprentices said the levy would help young people by opening up apprenticeships to a lot more employers.

“Where on the one hand there is a risk, on the other there is an opportunity. We are talking to more companies than we did before. Payers and non-payers of the levy are all still keen to taken on 16 to 18-year-olds,” said Mr Pease.

You can find out more about apprenticeships across all sectors, and apply for schemes now from our UK Apprenticeships section.

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