Recent data has shown that less young people across the UK are taking up apprenticeships compared to past years. According to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), the Apprenticeship Levy which is imposed on employers must be made more flexible for the numbers of Apprenticeships to increase once more.
The statistics in question were published in the last few days by the Department for Education, and show that there has been a 24 per cent decline in apprenticeship starts during the 2017/18 academic year compared with 2016/17.
Chief executive of the FMB, Brian Berry, explains why they believe changes must be made to the Apprenticeship Levy: “Apprenticeships are falling and the government must take urgent action to reverse the decline. At the recent Conservative Party Conference, the government announced much-needed reforms to the Apprenticeship Levy, but these do not go far enough. From April 2019, large firms will be allowed to pass 25 per cent of levy vouchers down through the supply chain to smaller firms but the FMB is calling for this to be increased to 100 per cent.
“This is an important change because in construction it’s the smaller firms that train more than two-thirds of all apprentices. Conversely, large firms don’t tend to directly employ or train trades people. If the government is serious about creating three million quality apprenticeships by 2020, it must ensure the Apprenticeship Levy works for the construction industry.”