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More than half of apprenticeship levy payers want it replaced, CIPD finds

PUBLISHED: 08:54 11 January 2018 | UPDATED: 08:54 11 January 2018

Apprenticeship levy-paying businesses would like to see it replaced with an alternative to fund training. 
Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Apprenticeship levy-paying businesses would like to see it replaced with an alternative to fund training. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

A majority of employers who pay the apprenticeship levy would like to see it replaced with a training alternative, a study has revealed.

A third of 1,100 businesses questioned by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) pay the levy, but only a minority support the existing system.

More than a third of smaller firms paying the levy do not plan to use it to develop apprenticeships.

CIPD skills adviser Lizzie Crowley said: “Our research shows that the straitjacket of the apprenticeship levy is forcing many firms to re-badge a lot of their existing training as apprenticeships, as they seek to claw back the levy they pay.

“In many instances, this is not adding any additional value and is creating a lot of additional bureaucracy and cost.

“Apprenticeships are extremely important but other forms of training are equally valuable and often more flexible and better suited to the needs of organisations.

“A move to a more flexible training levy would have the effect of continuing to prompt greater employer investment in skills, including apprenticeships, but in a way that is much more responsive to employers’ needs.”

Businesses with a payroll of more than £3m pay 0.5% of their payroll towards the apprenticeship levy, with the aim of raising £3bn a year for four years to fund three million places.

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