Apprenticeship levy will cut construction funding by nearly a third

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The government’s apprenticeship levy could lead to construction apprenticeship funding being slashed…

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has warned plans to implement a new apprenticeship levy could have wider ramifications for the construction sector.

The CITB warned that plans to bring in the new levy could see apprenticeship funding in construction cut by nearly a third. As a result contractors may be expected to make up shortfalls in funding, which could reduce the attractiveness of taking on apprentices.

A consultation is currently underway to discuss the levy and is set to end in September, with a view to implement the new system next April. The CITB urged contractors to have their say and raise concerns during this process.

The new system will comprise of 15 funding bands. These will have a limit ranging from £1,500 to £27,000. The government also plans to create a register of training providers, which will be available from April 2017. This register will help employers to find quality training providers and decide which training their apprentices receive.

CITB’s Head of Apprenticeships Steve Hearty said: “The Government’s proposed funding bands for framework apprenticeships raise real concerns for the construction industry.

“We support the new, employer-designed standards, because we think they will improve the quality of apprenticeships, and it is encouraging to note that Government state these will be funded at a higher rate than those recently published.

“However, no standards for construction have yet been approved and we are still working under the existing frameworks system and may well continue beyond 2017.

He added: “Even with the sector beneficial STEM increases to funding the Government’s proposed funding bands will cut funding for construction apprenticeships by between 20 per cent and 30 per cent.

“We are concerned that training providers could stop training or they could ask employers to make up the shortfall in cost, which might deter firms from taking apprentices on.

“We have shared our concerns with DfE and will be doing formally through the formal consultation process that closes on 5 September.  Employers can do the same.”

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