Gill Cronin, Director of Operations at the The 5% Club said:
“In 2017, we welcomed the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy as a proactive means of upskilling the British workforce in the digital age. It is fair to say however, that it has taken employers longer than expected to work out how to use the Levy to benefit the skills development of their organisations.
“Many employers are only now able to access the funds and use them in a way that works for their business.
“The current system does undoubtedly need reforming. It should be evolved into a broader skills levy, with increased flexibility to allow it to be spent on other types of high-quality technical skills training.
“We would also like to see greater flexibility in how this important investment can be transferred to other businesses so that funds can be spent on training where it is most required to benefit the wider economy.
“Expenses such as travel to training centres or paying for accommodation can make some apprenticeships untenable, so businesses should be allowed to use the Levy funds to cover these essential expenses. We’d also like to see it spent on shared apprenticeships, where an apprentice is employed and trains across a number of small businesses, allowing employers who are too small to employ a full-time apprentice to support training.”