Ministers must hand employers new tax breaks to boost Theresa May's training agenda, according to the Institute of Directors

Mark Sands
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The UK will head to the polls on 8 June. (Source: Getty)

Prime Minister Theresa May is facing calls to expand her workers' rights agenda with a new programme of tax breaks to support training schemes.

On Sunday, May revealed plans to give workers time off to improve their skills, as well as a statutory right to take leave to care for relatives.

The Federation of Small Business has been among the groups to question the burden of employment rules on businesses, and today the Institute of Directors (IoD) has called for extra regulation to be matched with tax breaks to reinforce training.

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The business group is calling for employers to be offered tax deductions for qualifying training courses.

In addition, individuals increasing their skills or re-training to change industries should be granted a top up on the income tax personal allowance.

The IoD is also pressing the government to move away from the “one-size-fits-all” apprenticeship levy to grant businesses more flexibility in how staff are trained.

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IoD head of employment and skills policy Seamus Nevin said the UK's workplaces will inevitably change due to factors like demographics, automation and Brexit.

“Some industries will inevitably decline while others are likely to grow and prosper.

“The skills demands of employers will consequently change. Indeed, there is a clear desire from a number of parities to reduce migration, and in order to avoid a detrimental effect on the economy, we must start to produce more home-grown talent with the right skills to meet the needs of businesses.”

The tax break demand is the latest in a series of calls from the IoD, with Labour and the Conservatives due to publish manifestos this week.

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