In a letter co-signed by organisations representing charity, business and public sector, CFG highlights that employers need certainty whilst the economy responds to Brexit and that introducing the levy now will impact already stretched budgets, especially in the charity sector. They also warn that without the levy guidance, which was due out in June, employers are unable to plan for its introduction, increasing levels of uncertainty further.
There is strong evidence that the levy in its current form could undermine apprenticeship quality by encouraging some employers to invest in intermediate level apprenticeships at the expense of advanced and higher level programmes.
The group also argue that the Digital Apprenticeship System (DAS) does not allow for the range of requirements that the signatories have called for. Specifically the mechanism to transfer vouchers to other organisations will not be available within the first year.
Caron Bradshaw, Chief Executive of Charity Finance Group who co-ordinated the letter said:
“This is the crunch point for the apprenticeship levy. If the government decides to push ahead with the existing timetable we will see vital charitable funds being redirected away from the causes which they were intended to support. The sector has only recently come out of recession and will not be immune to the economic challenges that Brexit threatens. History has shown that in times of economic uncertainty demand on charities’ front line services increases, we cannot therefore risk losing vital funds through a policy that, in its current form, will not support our members to achieve their charitable objectives.
“The government would be taking the responsible path in delaying the levy and taking the time to engage with charities and other employers, who have already proposed solutions to some of the challenges presented by the levy, on how it could work to genuinely improve skills across the British economy and help support young people into meaningful employment.”
You can download the letter here.
The letter has been signed by:
Charity Finance Group
British Plastics Federation
British Printing Industries Federation
Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE)
Chemical Industries Association
Food and Drink Federation
Institute of Directors
Manufacturing Technologies Association
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