Five truths about the apprenticeship levy

In the middle of all of the noise around the Apprenticeship Levy, we have decided to list five truths about it that we need to keep telling ourselves and the rest of the world.

The apprenticeship levy represents the best opportunity to revolutionise workplace training in a generation.

The apprenticeship levy creates clear incentives for businesses of all sizes to invest in workforce development – and gives them control of the training that they invest in. £3bn should represent the starting point – the principle of the levy gives policy makers the flexibility to increase the scope and scale of their investment partnership with UK business.

The government needs to stay the course, maintain a clear message and make it easy.

The current administration has few headline initiatives outside of delivering Brexit. The commitment to delivering 3 million new apprenticeships is a very measurable one. In the face of conflicting views and outbreaks of panic, the government needs to ‘keep calm and carry on’ and remain committed to the principles of the apprenticeship levy. It also needs to articulate a clearer public message about the purpose, scale and scope of the levy. At the same time, it needs to ‘get out of the way’ – by reducing bureaucracy and focusing on outcomes rather than process.

The independent training sector needs to get a lot better at listening to employers, explaining the benefits to employers and delivering high quality training that employers really want.

The levy represents a fundamental change in the market for training providers. Providers need to quickly adjust to serving employers, rather than government, as their customers. They need to become more adaptable and flexible, delivering bespoke (and super high quality) provision – rather than off-the-shelf training packages. This is where The Tess Group listen to what employers need, rather than tell them what they can have and execute with success.

There is more than enough money in the levy to support business growth and social impact.

£3bn is a significant uplift on the amount of funding available to support workforce development.There is more than enough money to support the training of both existing staff and new employees. There is more than enough money to deliver both high level management training and entry level vocational skills. At a stage when the levy pot remains under-spent, rather than over-spent, this is a particularly silly debate.

We’ve got a once in a generation opportunity to improve the quality and the reach of workforce learning in this country. We could carry on complaining about it. Or we can get on and make it happen. The choice is all ours.

If your looking for answers to your questions on the Apprenticeship Levy, contact our expert levy team here.

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