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April 21, 2018

UK’s largest firms to get funding boost for apprentices in run up to Brexit

The UK’s largest firms will be able to create more homegrown talent in the run-up to Brexit under Government plans to let them spend more of the millions they pay in an apprenticeship levy.

Since April all employers with an annual wage bill above £3million have been charged 0.5 per cent. But many companies complain they get little or nothing back from the tax, with only a third saying they have enough apprentices to show for all the money they pay. If unspent, the cash goes into a wider Government pot.

Now ministers are preparing to announce that the levy can be spent on apprenticeships for firms that make up a company’s wider supply chain.

A Government source said: “If you are a huge company like Rolls-Royce being able to spend some of that money through your supply chain will make a big difference.”

The British Chambers of Commerce, which has called for the change, has welcomed the expected move.

Jane Gratton, of the BCC, said: “Transferring unused levy funds to other businesses in the supply chain could help to train more apprentices and develop new skills in the workforce.

“Our research shows that, right now, many businesses are still unaware of how best to use the apprenticeship levy and, for some, it feels like a tax on employment.

“Key to its success will be giving employers greater flexibility in how they can use and transfer the levy monies to ensure people can get the best training for the jobs we have now and the jobs of the future.”

The levy was introduced to fulfil a pledge in the Conservatives’ 2015 manifesto to “support three million new apprenticeships, so young people acquire the skills to succeed”. It was designed to transfer the funding of apprenticeships from taxpayers to the private sector. An announcement is expected shortly

Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.

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