Councillor Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning at City of York Council, is calling on the Government to introduce a Flexible Skills Development Levy, which would support the local and regional efforts to build back better.
Writing to the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, Councillor Waller shared his concerns regarding the current restrictions facing businesses and highlights the need for flexibilities in how Apprenticeship Levy funds can be utilised, to aid local economic recovery.
Councillor Waller notes that the current funding rules, which only allow levy funds to be used to pay for training and assessment of apprenticeship standards, are holding back opportunities for creating apprentice roles - at the very time we need them to respond to the concerns of a potentially lost generation of young talent.
In addition to the planned developments for Apprenticeships in April and August this year, Councillor Waller is calling on Government to allow levy paying organisations to support their own and local skills priorities by adapting the current Apprenticeship Levy into a Flexible Skills Development Levy.
Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning, commented:
“Businesses need consistency and transparency, rather than barriers and paperwork, to help plan for their long term recovery. Government should support businesses across the country to overcome the current hurdles, and working with councils and training providers to ensure a background safety net for apprentices.
“Whilst the Council has developed a levy transfer strategy to support local priorities and, through the Apprenticeship Hub, is championing the National Apprenticeship brand, Government must step up to ensure we are ready and able to reskill and provide jobs fit for the future green economy.
“Apprenticeships will have a key role to play in York’s economic recovery, and offer a pathway to employment for many young people. By expanding the levy use we could support the local upskilling, reskilling and job-creation needed to retain jobs, address existing economic inequalities and support our local and regional efforts to build back better.”