Action on the Apprenticeship Levy delivers a result
4 October 2018
There was good news from the Chancellor as he confirmed a shake-up of the Apprenticeship Levy at the Conservative Party conference this week.
For too long, employers haven’t been allowed to invest their levy in the best ways to create much needed apprenticeships. In London alone, we estimate there’s a £300m levy pot accumulating in the Treasury which businesses are desperate to see put to good use — but is at risk of going unspent because of inflexible rules and red tape. At a time when apprenticeship starts are falling, that is simply unforgivable.
London First has been campaigning for reform. Working with our members and a committed team of senior Commissioners, we put together a Skills and Employment Action Plan for London and have been campaigning hard to make the Government listen. So we are delighted to see the Chancellor acting on three specific recommendations from our Plan:
That up to 25% of the Apprenticeship Levy can be spent in supply chains;
That the Institute for Apprenticeships is proper resourced to bring new standards to market, and;
That there’s proper consultation with business.
This success follows support from the North West Business Leadership Team, NHS Employers, the Association for Consultation and Engineering, the Creative Industries Federation, Collab Group, Tech London Advocates, the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment and London Chambers of Commerce to bring together a strong voice.
London First’s team has met repeatedly with No. 10, the Treasury, Department for Education, BEIS, the Mayor and many more to make the case. And we’ve had invaluable backing from the Metro Mayors of Liverpool and Manchester, Steve Rotherham and Andy Burnham, to reiterate the UK-wide need for reform.
So thank you to our Commissioners, including the Chair of the Commission and former London First Chairman, John Allan, who helped set out our case. And to our members and allies for telling the story so compellingly.
We continue to work closely with Government to ensure it delivers what will be a win not only for business, but for young and adult learners, our economy and our country.
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