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MPs agree that Apprenticeship Levy and target must change

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AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) believe that the new £3bn Apprenticeship Levy, which came into force last year, should be renamed as the “Skills Levy” and that levy monies should be able to be spent on traineeships and other forms of high quality training rather than being solely focused on apprenticeships. The professional body argues this would benefit individuals, employers and the economy and, according to a new study published today, most MPs from across the political divide agree.

When polled in December 2017, almost three quarters of MPs (72%) agreed that the Apprenticeship Levy should be developed over time to allow funding for other high quality skills training. This is a 7% increase on the 65% of MPs who said the same when asked the question in December 2016, suggesting an increase in support for such a change.

Mark Farrar, Chief Executive, AAT said: “This study shows that there is increasing support for widening the scope of the Apprenticeship Levy amongst MPs, as there is among industry and academia, and we trust Government will take note.”

Careers Information, Advice & Guidance

The study also gave an insight into MPs views on careers information, advice and guidance following publication of a long-awaited Government Careers Strategy in December 2017. Two thirds of MPs (67%) still think careers information, advice and guidance is too heavily geared towards Higher Education.

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75% thought this was the case in December 2016, which suggests much remains to be done to combat the problem.

Mark Farrar added: “It’s interesting to note that MPs continue to recognise careers information, advice and guidance in schools is far too heavily geared towards Higher Education. There are thousands of alternative opportunities for young people out there, from Apprenticeships and traineeships to employment, but many are completely unaware because schools simply aren’t providing the necessary information.”

3m Apprenticeship Starts Target

According to the same study, more than half of MPs (53%) think the Government’s target to have three million apprenticeship starts by 2020 should include specific targets for women, the disabled and those from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background.

In response, Mark Farrar said: “It’s hugely important that more women, more disabled people and more people from BAME backgrounds get involved in Apprenticeships and specific targets would doubtless concentrate the minds of both employers and Government.”

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