Posted : 19 days ago by Samuel Taylor

UVAC warns of threat to public services posed by reform of government’s Apprenticeship Levy

UVAC warns of threat to public services posed by reform of government’s Apprenticeship Levy

A new report by the University Vocational Awards Council (UVAC) has today warned that drastic reform or the abolishment of the government’s Apprenticeship Levy scheme will have a hugely detrimental impact on public services.

 

Cuts to funding of higher and degree apprenticeships, that are so critical to training police officers and nurses through to teachers and social workers to a senior level, will lead to a decline in skilled public sector professionals.

 

The warnings come from UVAC, which is the voice for over 90 universities that deliver higher and degree apprenticeships and has just produced a white paper setting out the future of the apprenticeship levy and what a future government should consider to maintain the volume and quality of delivery of higher-level skills.

 

Dr. Mandy Crawford-Lee, chief executive for UVAC commented: “One major casualty of radical reform or abolishment of the current apprenticeship levy scheme will unfortunately be public services, if funding to higher and degree level apprenticeships is compromised.

 

“The potential election of a new government this summer, misconceptions around the amount of levy funds retained by the Treasury annually and increasing pressure from big business to scrap it completely has meant its future is uncertain.

 

“This uncertainty poses a threat to the delivery of level 6 and 7 apprenticeships which are so integral to recruiting and training new police constables and registered nurses through to social workers and teachers and the quality of public services delivered. Putting levy funding at risk across public sector professions and occupations would also hinder social mobility and widen the skills shortages already felt in vital areas such as policing and nursing.”

 

The levy was first introduced in 2017 and is funded by a 0.5% compulsory contribution by employers with payroll costs of over £3m. It was met with some concerns especially from levy-paying organisations, regarded as another form of business taxation and has recently come under heavy scrutiny.

 

One possible reform UVAC has recommended in its new report is the ring fencing of public sector levy payments. This would ensure that employers, such as the NHS, would have far greater control over where it spends its payments, regardless of whether restrictions were introduced for employers in the private sector.

 

Dr. Mandy Crawford-Lee, added: “Whether it’s reform of the current levy system or transitioning to Labour’s proposed Growth and Skills alternative, key consideration needs to be given to how apprenticeship funding is spent within the public sector, to ensure it can attract, train and retain the best talent.”

 

The new report on the future of the Apprenticeship Levy will be freely available to view online from June 1st when published on www.uvac.ac.uk.

 

For further media information: please contact Chris, Martha or Lewis at Source by emailing [email protected] or by phoning 0113 380 1644.

 


 

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