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18/12/16 00:01

Boost for apprenticeships

Apprenticeship levy to invest in skills and training.

Scotland’s share of funding from the UK Government’s apprenticeship levy will support a range of employment measures including the delivery of 30,000 Modern Apprenticeships starts per year by 2020 and the establishment of a new fund to help employers up-skill and re-skill their workforce. 

Following on from a recent consultation on the apprenticeship levy, the Scottish Government has published a report that confirms it will use the funding to support skills, training and employment in Scotland.

The levy will be used to support :

  • The creation of a new £10 million Workforce Development Fund which will help employers work in partnership with colleges to up-skill and re-skill their existing workforce and address skills gaps
  • Continue to expand the number of Modern Apprenticeships to reach the Scottish Government target of 30,000 new starts per year by 2020
  • Increase the number of Graduate Level and Foundation Apprenticeships in 2017-18
  • Partnerships between employers, local authorities and the third sector to tackle unemployment and under-representation in the labour market
  • The continued implementation of the Youth Employment Strategy and delivery of employment focused college provision for young people
  • Skills support for priority sectors including digital, care and early years.

The levy, which has been implemented by the UK Government, will be introduced in April 2017, and mean larger employers pay 0.5% of their annual wage bill directly to the HMRC.

Mr Hepburn said:

“Investing in 30,000 Modern Apprenticeships per year by 2020 and support for the new £10 million Fund will help us develop a distinctly Scottish approach to the way we respond to the apprenticeship levy.

“The UK Government has given with one hand and taken away with the other as although the £221 million levy settlement forms part of the Scottish block grant, its proceeds will largely replace existing apprenticeship funding.

“While the UK Government forced this levy on Scotland without consultation, we have done all we can to involve employers in decisions on how the funding is spent. We have responded to the needs of employers by announcing an approach that is much broader than is currently proposed in England, and that will support skills, training and employment.

“We will use the apprenticeship levy to give the workplace more options and flexibility. While we will boost Modern Apprenticeships we will also address skills gaps and the training needs of existing employees where a full apprenticeship might not be appropriate.”

Background

The report can be viewed at: https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/employability-and-training/apprenticeship-levy/results/scottish-government-response-to-the-uk-government-apprenticeship-levy----.pdf

Mr Hepburn announced further details of the Workforce Development Fund at New College Lanarkshire on Friday: http://news.gov.scot/news/gbp-10-million-to-support-workforce-development

All employers with a paybill of over £3 million will be in scope to pay the levy – including those in the public sector. It would be for HMT to introduce any exemptions for public bodies. 

MEASURES SUPPORTED BY THE APPRENTICESHIP LEVY

Activity

Estimated Expenditure in 2017-18

£m

MODERN APPRENTICESHIPS

Our continued commitment to delivery 30,000 new Modern Apprenticeship starts each year by 2020.

81.5

National Occupation Standards

0.5

Sub-total

82.0

GRADUATE LEVEL APPRENTICESHIPS

Graduate Level Apprenticeships

4.7

Sub-total

4.7

FOUNDATION APPRENTICESHIPS

Foundation Apprenticeships

6.8

Sub-total

6.8

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

Support to employers to help disadvantaged young people to access and sustain employment

9.3

Developing the Young Workforce Regional Groups

4.1

Flexible Workforce Development Fund

10.0

Digital Economy Skills & Business Support

1.9

Care Sector Skills - Voluntary Sector Development Fund

0.9

Early Years Recruitment & Training

25.0

Energy Sector – Transition Training Fund

6.0

Teacher Training

2.5

Individual Learning Accounts

3.9

Sub-total

63.6

PRE-EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT

Employability Programmes

25.0

Employment focussed college provision

36.3

Inspiring Scotland

3.0

Sub-total

64.3

Total

 

221.40