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City Corporation reveals how London’s Financial and Professional Services businesses are using the apprenticeship levy

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The City of London Corporation has today (11/09) published results of a new survey into how London’s Financial and Professional Services (FPS) firms are using apprenticeships.

The survey found that many businesses are using the levy and finding benefits, but some are experiencing barriers to using their full levy contribution.

The Apprenticeship Reforms were introduced in April 2017 to increase the quality and quantity of apprenticeships in England, with a target of three million new apprenticeship starts by 2020.

The City Corporation launched the survey in May 2018 – one year after the levy was introduced.

The survey was completed by 129 FPS firms located in London, who collectively pay £27.3 million in apprenticeship levy contributions and employ over 329,000 people.

The survey found that:

  • 50% of businesses said the levy has incentivised them to look at apprenticeships as a new recruitment and development option
  • 59% expect the number of apprentices they hire in the next 12 months to increase
  • However 63% of businesses do not expect to use their full levy payments before they expire
  • 48% of businesses who pay, but do not use the levy, reported that the apprenticeship system is too complex

In March, the City Corporation broke its target in hiring over 100 young apprentices in a single year in a diverse range of jobs across the capital, supported by the apprenticeship levy.

Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation, said:

“We are committed to developing a diverse and resilient City that creates jobs and opportunities for people from all backgrounds.

“Developing homegrown talent is crucial to enabling City businesses of all sizes to compete globally and create lasting value for people across London and the UK.

“Businesses are finding apprenticeships can have different benefits – for some they support the skills gap whilst for others they are helping to diversify their workforce.

“We will continue to encourage businesses to hire apprentices and diverse talent from across the capital and the UK.

“Similarly, we will encourage Government to address the barriers businesses are experiencing in using the levy.”

In the survey businesses were asked what changes would improve their engagement with apprenticeships.

Business said that flexibility in how they can use their levy contributions would benefit them and highlighted that they would value the ability to use levy funds for managing their apprenticeship schemes, and for other, certified training, particularly in areas of skills shortages.

Firms also said that they wanted to see improvements to training provision and an increase in open access courses.

To read the full report into how London’s Financial and Professional Services (FPS) firms are using apprenticeships click here.

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.

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