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The NFDA is pleased to see that the government has responded to some of the points that have been raised regarding the new apprenticeship levy, however, we are still concerned with the short timescale of implementation.
The new apprenticeship levy due to start in April 2017 will be applied to employers with a wage-bill of over £3m who will contribute with a tax of 0.5% of their wage-bill. The Government has recently released further details about the levy including a longer period of time for employers (24 months) to spend funds in their digital account before they expire. The original proposal was just 18 months.
It is positive that recent updates to the apprenticeship levy provide greater flexibility allowing more time for employers to spend their funds. Nevertheless, with only six months before April 2017, we are disappointed to see that the commencement date has not been delayed.
The fact that the levy applies to all UK employers, but the funding policy is devolved, with each UK nation managing its own apprenticeship programme and online digital service, represents a further challenge for businesses with apprenticeships across all four nations of the UK.
The NFDA calls again on the Government to delay the introduction of the levy and ensure businesses can cope with it.