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Industry Perspectives

This section provides information about industry views and perspectives on the Apprenticeship Levy and useful links.

Harmonise

View from various employers in nuclear is that as they are already part of a levy structure with the ECITB, and the Government should try to:

“harmonise the arrangements to include the new apprentice levy within the ECITB process.”

“we don’t want to pay two levies”

Relevance

Offshore oil and gas industry employers query the relevance and applicability to offshore work.

One employer said, “we don't have many apprentices due to the difficulty in getting offshore placements” and the levy seems “very unfair” as it is already being paid to the ECITB.

Scope

Which geography is another frequent question – will it be the whole of the UK and where will benefits go back to?

Equity

Great for large businesses, but what about SMEs?

Value recovery

The manufacturing community is expressing some concern about how they could recover value from the levy, especially given limitations around the number of apprentices they could cope with.

Also concerns around the flexibility of the levy – namely the lack of choice to spend the levy where training is actually required and not just on apprenticeships. Several very large companies feel this means money may leave a sector.

Quality

A frequently expressed concern is around quality. One organisation involved in a specialist trade (welding) felt the value of the levy could be depleted by being spent in low skilled, low paid areas.

Unexpected consequences

Some organisations are concerned that there may be unexpected consequences of the change, such as headcount reductions to fall beneath the threshold or holding back from recruitment, or greater use of contracting and outsourcing to agencies with little interest in encouraging new apprenticeships directly.

Don’t fix what isn’t broken

Various SME employers have expressed the view of not fixing what isn’t broken. One small engineering employer in the North East said:

We would prefer the current levy we pay to ECITB to be the mechanism for training apprentices as this works, so why change it?”

Useful Links

AELP

CBI

EEF

SEMTA