Apprenticeships levy divides employers

There are concerns amongst employers  that  the apprenticeship levy will increase the number of apprenticeships at the expense of quality and investment in training and development, according to new research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The apprenticeships levy is part of the government’s plan to boost productivity among employers, encouraging them to invest more in training and development.

Of the 275 Employers surveyed, 39% are in favour of the levy. 31% are opposed to the plan, whilst a further 30% are undecided. Many businesses (30%) believe that the introduction of the levy would make them develop and apprenticeship programme and would increase the overall amount of places (30%).

The CIPD found that 31% of respondents think that the levy would result in less investment in workforce training and development. 22% believe the levy would encourage them to accredit apprenticeship schemes, whilst 20% of employers think the levy will improve overall quality of apprenticeship schemes.

The survey also found:

  • 47% of large employers believe they should use apprenticeships levy to invest in apprenticeship schemes
  • 10% of employers should only use apprenticeships levy for level 3 qualifications and above.

Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the CIPD, said:

“The introduction of the levy must be used as an opportunity to focus on raising quality levels so that apprenticeships are regarded as a viable alternative to university and not seen as a poor second choice for academic under-achievers.

“This is why we need a broader review of higher and further education funding to ensure that the further and vocational education is not treated as a poor relation in funding terms. More universities and other education providers need to build links with their local employers and help create more apprenticeship schemes.”

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