Apprentices: Taxation

Department for Education written question – answered on 22nd September 2021.

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Photo of Steven Baker Steven Baker Conservative, Wycombe

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will conduct a review of the Apprenticeship Levy focused on what further potential flexibility for businesses can be introduced into the scheme.

Photo of Michelle Donelan Michelle Donelan Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)

In response to employer feedback, we are continuing to improve apprenticeships, making them more flexible for employers and making it easier for employers to make greater use of their levy funds.

The department is making it easier for large employers to transfer levy funds to support new starts in small businesses, or in a certain sector or region. On 13 September 2021, we launched a new online service to allow levy paying employers to advertise funding pledges, enabling a much wider range of businesses to browse and apply for available funds.

In addition, the department is making apprenticeships more flexible so that they better meet the needs of employers in all sectors. We are encouraging greater use of innovative apprenticeship training models, such as the front-loading of off-the-job training so apprentices can be productive from day one in the workplace. We are also developing accelerated apprenticeships so that apprentices with substantial prior learning from other skills programmes, such as traineeships and T Levels, can complete an apprenticeship more quickly.

In August, the department launched a new £7 million flexi-job apprenticeship fund to support greater use of apprenticeships in sectors, such as creative and construction, where flexible working practices are commonplace. Flexi-job apprenticeships will enable apprentices to move between different host employers in a sector or region as they complete the training requirements for their apprenticeship.

The department currently has no plans to review the apprenticeship levy and what funds can be spent on.

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