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UK – The apprenticeship levy in coming in 2017

The government has outlined a package of plans to increase the number of quality UK buttonapprenticeships across England.

Employers are being consulted for their views on the introduction of an apprenticeship levy, planned for 2017 and designed to increase investment in training and apprenticeships.

Other proposed steps include a requirement to take a company’s apprenticeship provision into account when awarding government contracts worth more than £10 million, and the publication of new industry standards so that apprentices are taught the right skills.

Skills minister Nick Boles said that these steps will help to keep the UK competitive in a global economy. “Skilled people are the lifeblood of a strong economy but for too long UK businesses have invested too little in developing their employees’ skills to meet the demands of a competitive global market,” he said. “The apprenticeship levy will ensure that businesses invest in skills and training, and will act as a much-needed shot in the arm for the country’s productivity.”

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at HR Magazine – Government outlines apprenticeship plans.

Employers angry over plan for apprenticeships levy 

Employers have raised concerns about the chancellor’s plans to fund apprenticeships through a levy on large businesses, warning that the policy is a “blunt tool” in driving up standards of vocational training.

Revealing the policy in Wednesday’s Summer Budget, George Osborne said that while many firms did a “brilliant job” in training their workforces, there are still too many large companies that “leave the training to others and take a free ride on the system”.

Numbers attending training courses away from the workplace fell from 141,000 in 1995 to 18,000 in 2014, according to government figures.

Ministers are to compel the biggest employers to pay into a fund that will be “directly controlled” by those contributing to it.

The move will provide financial support for Mr Osborne’s election promise to create 3m apprenticeships by 2020, and shift the onus for skills funding from government to the private sector.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Summer Budget: Employers angry over plan for apprenticeships levy – FT.com.

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