Local Business Needs: Skills Development

Part of Education – in the House of Commons at on 12 June 2023.

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Photo of Gillian Keegan Gillian Keegan The Secretary of State for Education

That is a good question. The hon. Gentleman is right that employers have often asked for that flexibility in the levy. I do not think that anybody in this House doubts my support for apprenticeships—they were my golden ticket and, I am convinced, are a very good way into the workplace. Labour Members have said that they want to build flexibilities into the levy. The problem with their calculations is that, at this moment, we are spending 99.6% of the levy on apprentices. Their policy is based on levy payer spend, not levy payer budget. That means that the biggest losers from the policy would be small and medium-sized businesses and about half of current apprentices.