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Apprentices: Taxation

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL14312, tabled on 6 March 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports from the National Audit Office that the number of UK apprenticeships has fallen since the introduction of an apprenticeship levy on large employers.

Answered on

19 March 2019

We are making apprenticeships longer and better, with more off-the-job training and suitable assessment at the end. We have asked employers to lead on the design of new standards that will give apprentices the skills that businesses really need.

We are pleased with the changes we have seen to the balance of the programme, with the increase in the proportion of high quality apprenticeships since the introduction of the levy and wider apprenticeship reforms. 57.8% of people doing an apprenticeship are now starting on apprenticeship standards (in the first quarter of the 2017/18 academic year), compared to 35.8% this time last year.

Over 90% of employers with the largest levy declarations have set up an apprenticeship service account, showing that they are ready and willing to invest. To further support employers, we have already extended the amount of time that employers have to spend their levy (from 18 months to 24 months). We will increase the amount of funds that levy-paying employers can transfer to other employers from 10% to 25% from April 2019.