Government pushes for levy on large firms to fund apprentices

AS PART of the government’s plans to create 3m apprenticeships by 2020, the chancellor yesterday announced a new levy on large firms to increase the apprenticeship help fund and “give control back to employers”.

George Osborne said funding to train apprentices will be directly controlled by employers, via the digital apprenticeships voucher and legislation would only come into effect after “formal engagement” with businesses, according to papers released by the Treasury following the summer budget statement.

The chancellor said the levy would stop parts of the private sector from “taking a free ride on the system”.

Osborne was quick to reassure businesses that large companies would get back more than they put in to the changed system.

Every employer will deposit into the fund, with training subsidised by the funds. Revenue from the levy will help to fund all under-16 apprenticeships in England.

Seamus Nevin, head of employment and skill policy at the Institute of Directors, said: “The scheme will therefore have greater reward for those companies who invest significantly in training their workforce”.

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