The apprenticeship levy has just been introduced
The levy is in its first few months of operation and this is clearly a period of adjustment for affected employers. Employers were mainly neutral in their initial reaction to the levy which applies to employers in England who have an annual pay budget over £3 million. It seeks to create three million new apprentices by 2020 and one third of respondents said that their numbers of apprentices would increase because of the levy.
Whilst typical starting salaries varied greatly amongst respondents, apprenticeships appear to be a positive investment for employers in general, with an average 90 per cent retention rate reported once the apprenticeship is complete. Furthermore, 70 per cent of employers reported that they intended to expand the range of jobs trained for via apprenticeships, whilst nearly half are looking to provide apprenticeships at a higher level.
Whilst the picture undoubtedly differs in each sector, some did raise concerns that the levy was an additional cost whereas others felt it was extra money complicating existing apprenticeship funding.