• Barnett Waddingham
    Barnett Waddingham
  • 63% of managers still haven’t heard of the apprenticeship levy

    93% of UK business owners and managers still say they won’t or don’t know if they’ll be making use of the levy, despite only having until May to spend their initial funds.

    Findings from CIPD course providers, DPG, also found that well over half of their respondents hadn’t even heard of the levy. 

    DPG says the data highlights the need for the Government to better promote and demystify the levy – particularly if it is to hit its 2020 target of 3 million new apprenticeships.

    A recent freedom of information request revealed that four out of five businesses paying the levy have still not taken on a single apprentice. 

    DPG’s study, which can be viewed in full here, found that the problems of awareness and perception lay at the heart of the levy’s poor impact.  

    Over a quarter (27%) of UK managers didn’t see the benefit from offering apprenticeships, and a further 17% didn’t see the point of them at all.  

    These attitudes have resulted in a situation where 93% of UK businesses are still at a stage where they won’t be making full use of the levy. This 93% breaks down to 49% saying outright they wouldn’t be using it, and 44% having no idea if they would.  

    One main issue is the 43% who stated they wouldn’t be using the levy because they thought there were no apprenticeships available for their industry.   

    Well over half (63%) of respondents stated that they simply hadn’t heard of the levy.  

    Other key findings from DPG’s survey: 

    • 93% of UK managers say they won’t or don’t know if they’ll be making use of the levy 
    • 49% of respondents said outright they wouldn’t be using the levy 
    • 44% had no idea if they will use it 
    • 63% hadn’t even heard of the levy  
    • 43% said they won’t be using the levy because there are “no apprenticeships available for [their] industry” 
    • 27% wouldn’t offer an apprenticeship to their employees because “there’s not enough benefit” 
    • 15% thought apprenticeships reduced productivity  
    • 17% didn’t see the point in apprenticeships 
    • Less than a quarter (24%) would feel very confident taking advantage of the levy 

    Sarah Aubrey, CEO at DPG, said: “These findings certainly highlight the need for a more focused approach to communicating the levy and its benefits.  

    “The great range of business skills that can be developed through apprenticeships is a really positive thing and they can bring constructive change for all sorts of businesses. The problem is that the government needs to make this more obvious and needs to make it more about the skills and benefits than about the money itself.  

    “Making more of a drive towards selling apprenticeships and their benefits is the way to go. They can be incredibly enriching not just when it comes to increasing in-house skills, but also on a personal fulfilment level for employees. Happy workers can be 12% more productive††, so in the end it can pay dividends.”   


    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

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