Businesses could be “giving away” thousands of pounds because of misunderstandings over the Government’s new Apprenticeship Levy.
Straw poll research by industry experts Salad Skills exposed gaps in companies’ grasp of the new levy, which comes into force next April.
“This is one of the most significant changes to apprenticeship funding and will affect all businesses with a £3 million plus payroll. It’s essential that businesses know how to get the best out of it,” said Sarah Cripps, Salad Skills director.
The levy aims to fund millions of apprenticeships, particularly in larger companies. It will affect all England businesses, including public sector bodies. HMRC will collect 0.5% of the payroll bill and businesses can only get this back if they re-invest it in apprenticeship funding programmes.
“Most of our clients realise this is an opportunity to formalise plans for new apprenticeships but some have told us that they won’t be taking it up even with the top-ups that the government will add. We’ve discovered that lots of companies don’t realise that they can use the money to train and upskill existing staff as well as set up new apprenticeship schemes.
“Instead of effectively giving it away, these large businesses should be acting now in finding out how to recoup and reinvest their share of the levy,” said Sarah Cripps.
“Like lots of new legislation, it can be complicated. Some are calling it a “tax on business” but better trained staff tend to be more loyal and produce positive effects on your bottom line and your company as a whole.”
“We’d urge any company affected to seek advice on how to claim their share of the levy to spend effectively on bolstering the skills of their workforce.”