A survey included within the REC’s monthly JobsOutlook has found half of the 200 employers interviewed would benefit from reform of the levy, so apprenticeships are more flexible and accessible for temporary workers. In addition, near to 60 per cent said they would find any move to reduce bureaucracy by simplifying processes associated with skills and workforce planning, such as the levy, beneficial.

The results are significant because nearly 90 per cent of respondents are managers or at board level.

“This survey reinforces the near-deafening calls from many employers that the government must expand the levy to ensure more short course training, which will help people of different age groups,” said Kate Shoesmith, REC deputy chief executive. “It is a tremendous waste that 960,000 temps are ineligible for levy funding because just two per cent of temporary assignments last for 12 months or more. This oversight means the levy fails to help many people move up the career ladder, grow their skills base and reduce the impact of labour and skills shortages.


“The government will boost business growth and productivity at a critical time for the economy if they reform the levy to provide more individuals with a route to skilled work.”


Kate Shoesmith added that while apprenticeships are valuable, they are not the right training for every job. She also said that the REC welcome that the government has recently vowed to end the misuse of apprenticeship levy funds to subsidise courses such as MBAs.


“We would like more transparency on levy use to corroborate the many different claims about the levy’s success,” she said. “The businesses we represent do not think it has worked.”

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