To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of proposals by ScreenSkills to reform the apprenticeship levy to (a) increase the number of paid apprenticeships in the film and TV industry and (b) enable apprenticeship training agencies to employ and pay the wages of apprentices and to arrange apprentice training with a number of different engagers on short-term projects; and if he will make a statement.
We have a well-established working relationship with ScreenSkills and welcome their feedback on the impact of our apprenticeship reforms on the film and television industries. This, together with feedback from our broader engagement with employers, is informing our ongoing evaluation of the impact of the reforms in England and our work to promote apprenticeships under the Creative Industries Sector Deal.
In my capacity as the Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, I met the CEO of ScreenSkills in October 2018 to discuss their work to support the take-up of apprenticeships in the UK’s world-leading film and television industries. Officials from the Education and Skills Funding Agency continue to meet representatives of the organisation.
Levy-paying employers can already transfer funds to an Apprenticeship Training Agency, which acts as the apprentice’s employer. We recognise that this model can provide a valuable opportunity for employers, including those in the film and television industries and the creative sector more generally, to realise the benefits of apprenticeships for their business. We are continuing to engage with ScreenSkills to explore how such arrangements could support the creative industries.
In response to feedback from employers in a range of sectors, we have recently raised the cap on the amount of funds that levy-payers can transfer from 10% to 25% of the annual value of funds entering their apprenticeship service accounts.