NEECCNadine Hudspeth, Chair, North East England Chamber of Commerce, Education & Skills Group and Director of Marketing & Communications at Gateshead College, said: “We welcome today’s publication of further details of the Apprenticeship Levy.

This includes draft funding rates for each apprenticeship standard and framework, an online tool for calculating employers’ contributions to the levy, and confirmation that extra funding will be available for training 16-18 year olds, something which Chamber members have called for.

With such a tight timescale for the introduction of these major reforms, the Government must now ensure that the new digital apprenticeship service is fit for purpose and works. Crucially they must listen to employers’ views and act on them. Whatever the system, the goal has be to increase quality training, reduce skills gaps, and to ensure people are fully trained for their chosen career not to pursue an arbitrary number of new apprenticeship starts.

The Chamber will now gather feedback from its members on the new announcements and respond to the Government’s survey, which closes on 5 September.  Employers have an opportunity to check whether they will be paying the apprenticeship levy, calculate how much their training costs will be and plan for their future workforce needs. As the funding situation becomes clearer, this is a great time for employers who have not previously been involved to think about offering apprenticeships and the Chamber and their partners will be there to support and advise members.”