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

Apprenticeship levy-paying businesses would like to see it replaced with an alternative to fund trai

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

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.

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'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.'

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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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