“Councils support the Government's ambition to create 3 million apprenticeships. Good apprenticeships can give people the experience, skills and understanding that can often lead straight into a full-time job. However the Apprenticeship Levy must be improved in order to reach its potential."
Responding to research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) on the Apprenticeship Levy, Cllr Sir Richard Leese, Chair of the Local Government Association’s City Regions Board, said:
“Councils support the Government's ambition to create 3 million apprenticeships. Good apprenticeships can give people the experience, skills and understanding that can often lead straight into a full-time job. However the Apprenticeship Levy must be improved in order to reach its potential.
“Currently the Apprenticeship Levy costs around £207 million a year to local government, with a commitment that the money returned be spent within two years and against standards outlined by the Government. However, as the Government is aware, key standards, such as teaching and social care, for local authority workforces will not be accessible until September 2018, so is vital that councils have sufficient time beyond the two years deadline to spend the Levy against these standards to promote apprenticeships at a local level.
“The Government should use the Apprenticeship Levy review to enable local areas to pool contributions, loosen restrictions, which could include a broader range of training, ensure all underspend goes back to local areas where it is raised and fully devolve the apprenticeships system to combined authorities to direct at a local level.
“Devolving apprenticeships and funding to the local areas in which they are used will allow better coordination of services to help people get the skills they need to progress in work, and supply businesses with the right skills at the right time to help local economies grow.”
Work Local is the LGA's positive vision for an integrated and devolved employment and skills service – bringing together information, advice and guidance alongside the delivery of employment, skills, apprenticeships and wider support for individuals and employers.