Automation and AI are transforming the workplace and bringing with them demands for new skill if firms are going to stay competitive. But as the world of work rapidly changes, skills gaps only threaten to widen.
The CBI’s new report – ‘Learning on the job: Improving the Apprenticeship Levy’ – sets out a four-step plan to reform the Apprenticeship Levy to ensure UK businesses have the talent they need to stay competitive.
The CBI is calling on the government to:
- Help firms to better understand how the Levy is working, what’s being funded by the government and how their contributions are being spent
- Engage smaller firms with practical, online support and locally-led ‘matching services’ which allow more large firms to pass on unused funds
- Introduce a £100m annual government top-up fund which allows firms of all sizes to continue using the scheme to spend on apprentices of all ages and skill levels
- Fulfil its commitment to publicly consult on options after 2020 - including broadening the Apprenticeship Levy into a ‘Flexible Skills Levy’, which would cover a wider range of high-quality, relevant training.
Skills are a key driver of productivity growth. But as the 2018 CBI/Pearson Education & Skills Survey showed, while 79% of firms expect to increase their number of high-skilled roles, 66% fear there will be a lack of sufficiently skilled people to fill these vacancies.
Many firms face problems using the Apprenticeship Levy, which is stopping them from being able to access and deliver the quality training they need. The Levy must evolve to be more flexible and responsive to the needs of the economy, and government action is needed.
This report has been published in support of the CBI’s campaign to equip the workforce with skills for the future. The campaign is calling for reform of the Apprenticeship Levy to align it with the needs of business. CBI members are committed to addressing the skills gap through training and upskilling, for which apprenticeships are one key pathway, but require the system to be truly fit-for-purpose in order to do so. That’s why the CBI is campaigning on behalf of its members to equip the workforce with skills for the future and grant business access to an exceptional pipeline of highly-skilled talent.
Please contact Ed Richardson for more information or to discuss further.