Apprenticeship levy signals new age for skills training

Today welcomes in the biggest shake-up of skills in a generation as the apprenticeship levy comes into force. 

The levy will require all employers in the UK with an annual wage bill of at least £3 million to pay 0.5% of it to go towards funding apprenticeships. 

This money will be invested to provide quality training opportunities for apprentices and double the annual investment in apprenticeships in England to £2.5bn by 2019 to 2020, compared to investment from 2010 to 2011. 

Employers in England can set up an online account to manage their funds and invest in training for apprentices that are working for them. There are around 100 accounts being set up every day. 

The government will then contribute an addition 10% into employers' accounts each month. New levy doubles annual investment in apprenticeships

It is hoped that the levy will provide a huge boost to training and development by encouraging employers to invest in high-quality apprenticeships and giving young people a chance to reach their full potential. 

Support will also be offered to smaller employers with an annual pay bill of less than £3 million, and therefore not required to pay the levy, as the government will pay 90% of the costs associated with the training and assessing of their apprentices. 

Furthermore, companies with fewer than 50 employees that take on apprentices ages between 16 and 18 will have 100% of their training costs paid for. 

Skills minister Robert Halfon is delighted to welcome in the levy and believes it will play a crucial part in helping the government meet its target to deliver three million apprenticeships by 2020. 

He said: "There has never been a more important time for Britain to invest in the skills of our people and businesses. To make Britain stronger and fairer, we need to make sure that everyone gets the chance to climb the ladder of opportunity to gain the education and skills they need to be successful in life.

"Our apprenticeship levy is a massive part of this. More than 90% of apprentices go into work or further training, and the quality on-the-job training on offer will make sure we have the people with the skills, knowledge and technical excellence to drive our country forward.

"Building an apprenticeship and skills nation is essential in ensuring that we have the home-grown workforce we need in post-Brexit Britain to address the skills shortages facing industry and give everyone the chance to succeed."

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