TES have published an article about the Apprenticeship Levy Underspend. Details are below;
More than £1 billion in apprenticeship levy funding paid by employers expired unused between May 2020 and February 2021 alone, it has been revealed.
In a written answer to a parliamentary question from Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, skills and apprenticeships minister Gillian Keegan said that, across all employers in England, £1,039 million in levy funds had expired in the nine months following May 2020. This is a 22 per cent increase on the year before, when the expired levy value was £847 million for the period between May 2019 and April 2020. Introduced in 2017, the apprenticeship levy is paid by all large employers across the UK. Organisations pay into a virtual account and can then use those funds to support training. They have two years to use up their levy pot before it expires.
Apprenticeship participation has taken a big hit as a result of the Covid pandemic. In May 2020, the Federation for Industry Sector Skills and Standards predicted there would be around 120,000 fewer apprenticeship starts in the year from March 2020 as a direct result of the coronavirus.
Association of Employment and Learning Providers: ‘Extremely frustrating’
The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) chief executive Jane Hickie said the numbers will be “extremely frustrating for ITPs to see”.
She said: “The simple fact is that before the pandemic arrived the money could have been spent on SMEs’ apprenticeships. As we kept telling the government, the employer demand was there but the size and growth in providers’ non-levy contracts was very tightly restricted by the ESFA.
“Obviously with workplaces closed, the pandemic has had a major impact on apprenticeship starts and levy spend but the good news is that as we come out of lockdown, non-levy contracts are about to become a thing of the past with employers of all sizes being able to express demand through the digital apprenticeship service.”
Read the full article by visiting https://www.tes.com/news/revealed-ps1bn-apprenticeship-levy-underspend
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