In response Government’s announcement today on apprenticeship funding, Seamus Nevin, Head of Employment and Skills Policy at the Institute of Directors, said:
“Businesses are committed to training apprentices to tackle the skills gap. However, we also have longstanding concerns over about the design of the apprenticeships system and the lack of time given for employers to prepare between the announcement of the final guidelines today and the introduction of the Levy early in the next year.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates that the Government has listened to some of the concerns employers have raised, by introducing extra incentives to encourage more high quality apprenticeships, giving more time for employers to spend funds in their account, and greater flexibility to train those with prior qualifications.
“Nevertheless, with only a few months to go before the new system begins, significant issues still remain. It is imperative that Government works with employers to ensure the system is a success.
“While it is right to focus on helping young people to succeed in the workplace, and we welcome the measures announced in that regard; apprenticeships are not always the most appropriate form of training – particularly for employees who need to up-skill as their industry changes. For that reason, we would like to see the Levy opened up to allow employers to invest in other forms training, not just apprenticeships, for their staff. This will be particularly important as Brexit alters our economy and the skills needed by employers as some industries inevitably shrink while others grow due to our changed trade relations.”