Consultation on the Apprenticeship Levy

Consultation on the Apprenticeship Levy

The Department for the Economy has recently launched a public consultation seeking the views of interested parties on the potential implications of the Apprenticeship Levy in Northern Ireland, due to be introducted in April 2017.

The collection of the Levy from all employers with a pay bill in excess of £3 million per annum is a matter for the UK Government and will apply across the UK in both public and private sectors. Those organisations with an annual pay bill of more than £3 million per annum will be net contributors to the Levy funds. Those organisations with an annual pay bill of £3 million per annum or less will not contribute to the Levy funds.

At this point in time no decision has been taken on how Levy funding will be re-distributed to employers in Northern Ireland. There is also a concern that if the money raised via the Levy is returned via the block grant, it will not be ring fenced for apprenticeships and may not be spent on apprenticeships or training.

In order to respond to the consultation the Association seeks the views of Organisations affected by the introduction of the Levy. To do so, we would be grateful if you could provide any responses to the questions below by email (john@eefni.org) by Wednesday, 14 December 2016. The Association will then submit a response to the Department by the deadline of 23 December 2016.

  1. What do you feel are the main issues for Northern Ireland employers from the introduction of the Levy?
  2. As a result of the Levy, what factors should the Department take into account to ensure you can access training to meet the needs of your organisation?
  3. Will you increase the number of apprenticeships recruited to your organisation?
  4. Does the range of employer focused training programmes, outlined in Annex C of the Consultation document, provide a flexible and comprehensive suite of training to meet the future requirements of your organisation?
  5. Should the Department establish a flexible skills fund to support wider workforce development?
  6. Should the Department establish a flexible skills fund to support wider workforce development?

A copy of the full consultation paper is available online to download at: https://www.economy-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/consultations/economy/Apprenticeship-levy-employer-consultation.pdf

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