Autumn statement welcome news on apprenticeship levy

As part of the autumn statement, the Chancellor announced Government plans to establish a new apprenticeships quality institute and provided further detail on the apprenticeship levy. UKWA CEO Peter Ward explains what this means and why it's good news for the logistics industry.

"As part of the autumn statement, the Chancellor announced Government plans to establish a new apprenticeships quality institute and provided further detail on the apprenticeship levy.

"The levy rate was set at 0.5% of payroll costs including a £15,000 allowance to offset against costs of apprenticeships. Importantly, the Government has decided that only the largest companies will pay the levy, while all companies will benefit. Those paying the levy will be companies whose payroll costs exceed £3m – this represents around 2% of employers and it is expected that £3bn a year will be raised.

"This is great news for the industry; the Government has recognised the issue of relevant skills shortage – a problem widely acknowledged in our sector and one of the 'big messages' being voiced by the UK Warehousing Association on behalf of the logistics world. Looking to big employers for the necessary investment in nurturing and developing young talent, for their own businesses but for others too, is a creative solution and one that we welcome.

The Government has further announced that it will establish a new, employer-led body to set apprenticeship standards and ensure quality. This is good news too. Rather than a top-down approach, this will allow schemes and standards to be shaped and developed in a structured way by industry, operating independently of Government.

"The new institute will support the quality of apprenticeships standards, building on reforms led by the employer-driven trailblazer programme, an initiative that UKWA has been closely involved with, along with our members, helping ensure the apprenticeship standards for the logistics industry will be fit for purpose."

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