An Employment Trends Survey published by CBI/Pertemps Network Group suggests half of businesses will recruit more apprentices over the next 12 months. 63 per cent of businesses plan to reconfigure their existing training into apprenticeships, with only 4 per cent planning to cut back on the number of apprenticeship roles within their business.
April 2017 saw the introduction of the apprenticeship levy which, it is hoped, will fund the government’s ambition of three million apprenticeships by 2020. The levy is intended to trigger an increase in apprenticeship openings, although the Department for Education data showed that in the first few months there was a drop of more than 60 per cent in apprenticeship starts. Many employers could view the levy as a tax, due to the complicated nature of the new funding system, and decide not to invest their levy funds in apprenticeships training.
“This disappointing data will come as no surprise to companies, who have repeatedly made clear that the current design of the apprenticeship levy system is not effective,” said Neil Carberry, CBI managing director for people policy. “Businesses believe in apprenticeships but there can be no argument now – reform of the levy system is needed urgently to ensure its success.”