The Apprenticeship Levy Must be Changed

Aug 27, 2019
Author: Craig Burton
Craig acts as commercial partner for a wide range of corporate and non-corporate clients. He is also responsible for maintaining technical standards throughout the firm.

95% of manufacturers strongly believe that the Apprenticeship Levy needs to be altered to an employer-led system. Employers from the manufacturing industry are asking the government for an immediate rethink into the Apprenticeship Levy. This is to make access to funding more flexible so they can develop the crucial skills required for the future.

One of the main problems is the absence of suitable apprenticeship training standards (training course criteria) which is the ability for employers to provide the skills their business needs which is stopping companies from training the next generation of employees. This is due to companies not being able to use funding they receive through the Apprenticeship Levy on workforce training, as only 19% of the Levy paying companies actually spent all of their Levy last year.

Key Facts:

95% of manufacturers say the Apprenticeship Levy has to be altered to an employer led system.

One in five manufacturers want to scrap the Levy, and one in 5 wish for improvements to be made.

19% of Levy paying companies actually spent all their Levy last year.


Tim Thomas, director of Labour Market and Skills Policy at Make UK, commented: “The apprenticeship levy was rushed in development, hurried in implementation and has been caught ever since in systemic chop and change.

It’s little wonder then that manufacturers overwhelmingly want to see real change, not tinkering at the edges of a skills system that is just too slow, too complex and increasingly too late to deliver the skills needed by tomorrow’s technologies.”


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Craig Burton

Partner, Sheffield