The British Plastics Federation (BPF) is one of a group of membership and professional bodies calling for a delay in the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in order to protect the quality of apprenticeships and skills investment.
In a letter co-signed by the BPF’s Philip Law, along with Terry Scuoler from the manufacturer’s organisation, EEF, and several other signatories from organisations representing charity, business and the public sector, they highlight that employers need certainty whilst the economy responds to Brexit and that introducing the levy now will impact already stretched budgets.
They also warn that without the levy guidance, which was due out in June, employers are unable to plan for its introduction, increasing levels of uncertainty further.
The group argues that there is strong evidence that the levy in its current form could undermine apprenticeship quality by encouraging some employers to invest in intermediate level apprenticeships at the expense of advanced and higher level programmes.
“Our industry is passionate about high quality apprenticeships and we want to see more of them. However, if the Government pushes ahead with its current timetable for the apprenticeship levy we could see a decline in both the quality and quantity of apprenticeships. This will do nothing for the apprenticeship brand or the Government’s ambitious three million target,” commented the EEF’s Scuoler.
“Industry and others have come up with solutions to some of the major sticking points of the apprenticeship levy, but these require more time. A delay to implementation is vital if we are to successfully get this policy back on track, avoid hitting business with additional costs at a highly uncertain time and ensure that the apprenticeship levy fits in fully with a wider industrial strategy.”
The letter has been signed by the following:
- British Plastics Federation
- British Printing Industries Federation
- Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE)
- Charity Finance Group
- Chemical Industries Association
- Food and Drink Federation
- Institute of Directors
- Manufacturing Technologies Association