Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 14.00.42Cost management specialist Great Annual Savings Group (GAS) has praised Chancellor George Osborne for providing details on the controversial apprenticeships levy in his Autumn Statement on Wednesday.

The Chancellor tabled the levy proposal in his July Budget but there was confusion and uncertainty over how it would be implemented.

Wednesday, however, more details emerged with the levy coming into effect in 2017 at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s pay bill. A £15,000 allowance for employers will mean that the levy will only be paid on employers’ pay bills over £3million, so only 2% of UK employers will pay the levy.

GAS, which launched its own apprenticeships scheme earlier this year, said yesterday’s announcements would allow businesses to plan for the levy in advance of its introduction in two years’ time.

Brad Groves, chief executive and chairman of Great Annual Savings Group, said: “I was pleased to see more detail around the apprenticeship levy announced by the Chancellor. The levy could act as an important catalyst to boost uptake of apprenticeships.

“The funding generated will go a long way to support the Government’s plans to create three million new apprenticeships by 2020, helping to develop the UK’s skills base and driving long-term productivity.

“It transpires that the levy won’t directly affect Great Annual Savings Group; however, we continue to see apprenticeships as a good investment because young people can bring a vibrancy to the business and make it more productive. Apprenticeships are also a great way of providing career opportunities for local people, particularly in an area such as Seaham which has traditionally suffered from high unemployment.”

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