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Inquiry launched to examine apprenticeship levy

THE parliamentary sub-committee on education, skills and the economy has launched an inquiry into the planned apprenticeship levy.

Committee members will be scrutinising how the government’s plan to achieve three million new apprenticeships by 2020 will be delivered, focussing on how a levy on all large businesses will be implemented.

Money raised from the tax will go towards funding training schemes at smaller companies, as the government aims to have every SME containing at least one apprentice by 2020.

A number of organisations have already voiced their concerns over the levy. Last October, the ICAEW argued that the levy should not be a replacement for public funding of apprenticeships, but instead be an addition to it.

The sub-committee is welcoming submissions from the public on a number of issues surrounding the apprenticeship plans, including how standards can be enforced to improve the level of apprenticeships. The deadline for written evidence is midday on Friday 18 March 2016.

“The government has an ambitious target of hitting three million apprenticeship starts and as a Committee we want to examine how they are going to hit that target,” said Iain Wright MP, chair of the Business Innovation and Skills Select Committee.

“For example, what impact will the key policies in that area, such as the apprenticeship levy, have on increasing the numbers of people getting onto (and finishing) apprenticeship training?

“There’s been a lot of uncertainty about how the apprenticeship system is going to work and we will want to press the Government on how they are going to ensure businesses, colleges, and students have confidence in the system in the future.”

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