In the Autumn 2018 Budget, the Chancellor announced reforms to the Apprenticeship Levy and funding for the National Retraining Partnership – both of which are sizeable wins for business.
Because of its significant impact on business, reforms to the Apprenticeship Levy were one of the CBI’s top three asks in our Autumn 2018 Budget submission (along with investment incentives and business rates). The Chancellor delivered on our three short-term priorities for reform of the levy:
- Making it easier for firms to utilise their levy fund across their supply chains, by raising the so-called ‘transfer limit’ to 50%.
- Properly resourcing the Institute for Apprenticeships to tackle bottlenecks and speed up the approval of the apprenticeship standards that business wants.
- Reducing costs for small business by reducing the contribution made by non-levy payers to just 5% of the cost of training.
The CBI will continue to consult businesses on developments for the levy and lobby for long-term reform.
The government has also announced its allocation of £100m of funding for the first phase of the National Retraining Scheme (NRS) at the Autumn Budget.
The CBI has called for funding allocation to implement the decisions made by the Partnership. The group, consisting of the government, the CBI and the TUC, pledged to create a new careers guidance service with expert advice to help people identify work opportunities in their area. In addition, it pledged to produce state-of-the-art courses combining online learning with traditional classroom teaching to develop key transferable skills.
This funding will drive real change with the focus of closing the UK’s skills gap, in line with the evolving needs of business.