EEF questions PM’s apprenticeship levy consultation

Posted on 21 Aug 2015 by Jonny Williamson

According to the EEF, Prime Minister David Cameron’s outline of a new package to increase the amount of apprenticeships available across England raises more questions than answers.

The consultation will see employers across the country being asked their views on the introduction of an apprenticeship levy – set to be introduced in 2016 and designed to increase investment in training and apprenticeships.

Terry Scuoler, CEO, EEF
Terry Scuoler, CEO, EEF

Chief executive of EEF, Terry Scuoler commented: “While EEF strongly supports any initiative to increase the number of quality apprenticeships, today’s limited announcement provides few answers to the questions raised by manufacturing employers now facing a levy on their businesses.

“With little detail of the level of the levy, who will be required to pay it and how much government will give back in return,  manufacturers have a right to remain sceptical that the levy will create the 3m additional quality apprenticeships that we all wish to see.

“Industry will also be very puzzled to note the market intervention for transparency on apprenticeship training in order to bid for government contracts.

“Advanced manufacturers, in particular, who already invest heavily in high quality, long-term apprenticeships will be surprised by the suggestion from Government that it is they who are currently failing to invest in apprenticeships”.

According to EEF data:

  • Three-quarters of EEF members offer apprenticeships to acquire the skills their businesses need.
  • 66% plan to recruit an engineering and manufacturing apprentice in the next 12 months.
  • 38% plan to recruit a non-engineering and manufacturing apprentice in the next 12 months.
  • Three-quarters of EEF members say their apprenticeships last an average of four years.
  • Three-quarters say ALL their apprentices are employed upon completion of their training. The remaining 25% generally say almost all their apprentices stay with them.
  • 60% of EEF members use a combination of public and private funding to fund their apprenticeships; 37% fund their apprenticeships entirely themselves.