From education to employment

UK business set to lose over a billion in #Levy funding and faces growing skills crisis

Ben Rowland, co-founder of Arch Apprentices

To date, eligible businesses have used only 14% of the Apprenticeship Levy, the tax designed to encourage employers in the UK to invest in home-grown talent and their existing workforce by funding new apprenticeships.

Two years on from its conception, the remaining unspent levy fund will mean that businesses are set to lose £1.28bn, all whilst 90% of businesses state they have concerns about finding potential employees with the right skills.

New research from Arch Apprentices highlights the skill shortages in the UK workplace with many concerned about a talent drain out of the country because of Brexit.

Worryingly research also shows that 49% of businesses have not taken advantage of the levy citing it is too time consuming (17%) or is a complicated process (15%). Disappointingly, 13 per cent are even unaware of how to access it.

With UK businesses set to lose £1.28 billion and a growing skills gap, Arch Apprentices is calling on HR and Learning & Development professionals to invest time and resource into accessing the levy to develop its talent pool and future proof its workforce.

£1.28 billion is the equivalent of:

  • 116,363 digital marketers
  • 106,666 junior content producers
  • 16,000 advertising & media executives
  • 71,111 business analysts
  • 85,333 infrastructure techs
  • 85,333 data analysts
  • 75,294 network engineers
  • 71,111 software developers
  • 71,111 software testers
  • 60,952 business-ready data scientists
  • 160,000 assistant accountants
  • 160,000 accounting technicians
  • 60,952 accountancy professionals
  • 256,000 HR support
  • 142,222 HR consultants
  • 182,857 L&D consultants

The opportunity presented by the levy is really positive for employers and employees alike but due to the challenges of how the system works and the changing perceptions around apprenticeships, it’s no surprise that there was some initial confusion from businesses in terms of access.

Now, with UK businesses starting to see their levy funds going back to the government– we urge employers to invest the time and resources to make sure they are reaping the benefits, whether that’s upskilling their existing team or bringing in new talent. 


Our latest research also shows that there is a growing concern amongst UK businesses about the shrinking talent pool and mass exit of existing talent following Brexit, and the levy is an opportunity to mitigate against this.

Ben Rowland, co-founder of Arch Apprentices 

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