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Can Apprenticeship Levy Help Plug the Skills Gap?


Can Apprenticeship Levy Help Plug the Skills Gap?

Without a pool of top-quality talent to draw from, businesses of all sizes within most sectors are struggling to expand due to not being able to find the right talent to progress. And this is only the beginning.

According to Randstad, the United Kingdom faces a workforce shortfall of 3.1m by 2050 due to skills shortages, an ageing workforce and restrictive migration policy.

What’s more, with the very real possibility of the free movement of labour coming to an end through the UK’s exit from the EU, it’s never been more important for the country to invest in home grown talent.

Major companies and unions have claimed that talent gaps across various sectors have been caused by a continuing decline in apprenticeships, which will only continue to threaten the economy, just as it is starting to recover from the recession.

Reducing the skills gap

Given the problems within certain industries with the way skills young people need to succeed in a career are taught in college and university, apprenticeships have always been a great way of developing home grown talent to fill the skills gap.

In April 2017, the government introduced an apprenticeship levy that will require all employers operating within the UK, with a payroll of over £3m per annum to spend 0.5% of their total wage bill on apprenticeships and training. This is being put into place to improve both the quantity and quality of UK apprenticeships.

This levy is set to help close the UK’s skills gap and help faltering industries compete with other nations, as it will encourage employers to develop fresh or existing talent. While this isn’t going to solve all problems, the influx of thousands more apprentices and up-skilled talent each year is sure to have a positive impact on most industries.

Moving Forward

In all honesty, the levy couldn’t have come at a more opportune time for sectors crying out for skilled workers.  It will support sectors to develop and grow, and ensure that all are able to provide a high standard of training to staff.

It is key that managers make the most of the new levy , by taking advantage of the funding available to boost skills, which will ultimately support businesses’ bottom line without compromising on the quality of work.

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