Responding to the latest apprenticeship figures, showing starts flat over the last few months, but with a year on year drop of 25% for the 2017/18 academic year to July, Jamie Kerr, Head of External Affairs at the Institute of Directors, said “Today’s figures show that apprenticeship starts have still not recovered since the introduction of the Levy and there is still a mountain to climb to get the system to a place where it can deliver the skills the UK needs.”

“The Government has responded positively to concerns about the Apprenticeship Levy. The announcement that levy-paying firms will be able to transfer more of the funds down their supply chain was welcome, and we would urge companies to take full advantage of the reforms when they come into force next April. Meanwhile, the funding announced for the development of more STEM courses, a significant issues for many sectors, was a positive step forward.”

“Looking ahead, our skills system must keep pace with the shifting needs of the modern economy. The Government is engaging with employers and must keep the Levy under review to make it work for both apprentices and employers.”