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Survey finds support for more flexible Apprenticeship Levy

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Survey finds support for more flexible Apprenticeship Levy

A survey of employers shows strong support for reform of the Apprenticeship Levy, finds the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

A survey included within the REC’s monthly JobsOutlook, found half of the 200 employers interviewed would benefit from reform of the levy, so apprenticeships are more flexible and accessible for temporary workers. And near to 60 per cent would find any move to reduce bureaucracy by simplifying processes associated with skills and workforce planning, such as the levy, beneficial.

The results are significant because nearly 90 per cent of respondents are managers or at the board level.

Kate Shoesmith, REC Deputy Chief Executive, said:

“This survey reinforces the near-deafening calls from many employers that the government must expand the levy to ensure more short-course training, which will help people of different age groups.

“It is a tremendous waste that 960,000 temps are ineligible for levy funding because just 2% of temporary assignments last for 12 months or more. This oversight means the levy fails to help many people move up the career ladder, grow their skills base and reduce the impact of labour and skills shortages.

“The government will boost business growth and productivity at a critical time for the economy if they reform the levy to provide more individuals with a route to skilled work.”

Kate Shoesmith added:

“Apprenticeships are excellent – but they are not the right training for every job. We welcome that the government has recently vowed to end the misuse of apprenticeship levy funds to subsidise courses such as MBAs. 

“We would like more transparency on levy use to corroborate the many different claims about the levy’s success. The businesses we represent do not think it has worked.”

JobsOutlook is produced by REC, with survey work done by Savanta ComRes. This is a survey of hiring managers at businesses across the UK. We produce the report every month for REC members, but only publish it for the public quarterly. The next monthly report is published on Wednesday.

The telephone interviews for the survey on Apprenticeship Levy were conducted between February 1 and February 24. The results are below:


Overcoming shortages – How to create a sustainable labour market – July 2022. In this report, we show exactly how much damage could be done if we don’t step up. With a 10% surge in demand for staff across the economy, and the labour market restricted by shortages, we could see a 1.2% fall in expected GDP and productivity by 2027 – costing the economy anywhere between £30 billion and £39 billion every year. This figure is just short of the entire current defence budget, or two whole Elizabeth Lines.

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