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Posted By Apprenticeships Directory on 10/01/2019 in Apprenticeship Sector News Stories

Flex for success? January 2019 Employers’ perspectives on the apprenticeship levy

Flex for success? January 2019 Employers’ perspectives on the apprenticeship levy

Introduced as a lever to stimulate employer investment in apprenticeships, the apprenticeship levy was seen by many as a positive step towards increasing spending on skills development by English businesses. However, has it led to an improvement in employer take up of apprenticeships and a more diverse range of people choosing to progress their skills though apprenticeships or has it encouraged employers to divert funding away from other skills investment to pay the levy, or worse not pay it at all and write it off as a tax?


In the UK, millions of new technical and professional skilled workers are needed over the next decade, and the apprenticeship levy offers an opportunity to invest in talent and rethink future training and recruitment.

To understand how the apprenticeship system is meeting business’ skills needs we recently surveyed 765 levy-paying businesses. The research, ‘Flex for Success?’ reveals that while, encouragingly, businesses are keen to make the best use of their levy, more flexibility on how the levy is spent is needed to truly help fill skills gaps and shore up the talent pipeline for the future.

The research reveals:

  • 92% of employers want to see greater flexibility in how they can spend funds
  • 93% of employers cite some form of blocker to investing in apprenticeships
  • 45% of employers would like to be able to use money to invest in non-apprenticeship training.

Request ‘Flex for Success?’ to find out more >

How are businesses responding to the apprenticeship levy?

See what businesses really think about the apprenticeship levy and what they think could be done to improve the apprenticeship system, in our video.


“The apprenticeship levy has got a really bad press. The reality is it has great intentions, it's aimed at developing young people in particular but not exclusively young people, and I think if we all approach it in that way we can make much greater use of it than just regarding it as a painful tax or terrible bureaucracy.”
Cathy Strachan, Learning and Development Manager, MDBA UK Ltd.

About the City & Guilds Group: 

A world leader in skills development. Working in over 100 countries across the world, our purpose is to enable people and organisations to develop their skills for growth.

From setting the standard for on-the-job training through to supporting skills development around the world, the City & Guilds Group has almost 140 years’ experience in preparing people to contribute to successful businesses and thriving economies.

Our brands support people into a job, on the job and into the next job.

  • City & Guilds, ILM and Digitalme develop qualifications and assessments from entry level through to management. They also accredit skills training and help individuals to showcase their skills through digital credentialing using open badges.
  • Kineo and The Oxford Group are our corporate training and development brands, supporting everything from large-scale training programmes, workforce management and e-learning through to bespoke management training and executive coaching.
  • Gen2, our newest brand, is a technical training provider delivering skills training in engineering and technology for the UK civil nuclear industry.
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