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Crucial apprenticeship levy info delayed further by parliament break

The government has failed to release crucial information on its apprenticeship levy before parliament begins its six-week summer recess.

Details on how the different apprenticeships will be capped have still not been published despite summer recess beginning yesterday.

Sources told Construction News they had been expecting a decision before recess but now feared this will be postponed until September at the earliest.

The delays add to growing frustrations among contractors who need details on the caps to understand how they will pay for training once the levy comes in next April.

The apprenticeship levy was formerly under the control of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, but this has now changed following prime minister Theresa May’s Cabinet reshuffle.

It will now come under the remit of the Department for Education.

A government spokeswoman said: “Our focus is on ensuring the levy works for businesses of all sizes as they adapt and seize opportunities in the coming months.

“We are continuing to work with employers to design the apprenticeship levy around their needs and will shortly be publishing further details.”

Construction News reported earlier this month that BIS had missed its original June deadline, with the department saying there would be “a short delay” to its release.

The apprenticeship levy is part of the government’s plan to create more than three million new apprentices by 2020.

The levy, which is due to come in next April, will see companies with annual wage bills over £3m paying 0.5 per cent of their PAYE into a government fund.

As part of the levy, types of apprenticeships will be banded, with the government setting a maximum limit on what can be spent on each standard of apprenticeship.

Contractors fear these limits will be lower than the amount it costs to train certain types of apprentices, and that companies will have to foot the extra cost.

A number of employers have called for more clarity on the banding levels so they can calculate the cost of future training.

CECA chief executive Alasdair Reisner told Construction News earlier this month that any long-term delay could result in BIS having to push back the implementation of the levy.




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