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The Apprenticeship levy…

Lewis Mazdon - Saturday, December 05, 2015

Since the new apprenticeship levy that was announced this summer by George Osborne, the UK’s Exchequer Chancellor, there has been a mixture of reviews and opinions expressed in its response. Aimed to encourage larger firms, in particular, to take on more apprentices and increase their contribution to staff training, despite the unwelcoming of a new tax, its objectives are set to outweigh the negatives.

One company that is spinning on the positives is a major printing firm who is committed to pay the levy, “…express the importance of training and apprenticeships within the industry and any initiative that’s going to promote that in particular that we are in favour of”. As long as the money paid from the tax is injected back into the industry, the focus is all on the outcome of the training and skills gained by the apprentices in order to help bridge the skills gap, which is hindering many organisations’ workforces.

Another spurring aspect of the levy is to eradicate the risk of ‘fake apprenticeships’. There was a large emphasis on these scams in the last year with companies taking advantage of young hopefuls looking to gain skills and valuable work experience, paying a largely decreased wage with no qualifications in return. Although some companies are taking the new levy as a sting to their payroll, it’s important to see that it’s actually adding value to the apprenticeship industry, making the roles more attractive in return for a new vibrant workforce.

In the long-term it can override the additional cost of retraining graduates that could potentially be employed, as well as other recruitment costs. Funding of training people to work your way can be more costly than you think, and turning that into a whole new workforce will keep increasing. Being able to have a bottom-up approach with training new staff is proving to be a lot more beneficial to those who are adopting higher numbers of apprentices out of compulsory education.



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