British employers are nervously awaiting details of the Chancellor’s ‘apprenticeship levy’, which will be fleshed out in the Autumn Statement later today.
A great chunk of the statement will be devoted to delivering £20bn worth of cuts to Whitehall departmental budgets, as well as plans for a massive affordable housebuilding programme.
However employers will be most interested to hear about the levy which is thought to have been set at around 0.3 percent of payroll and apply to firms employing over 150 employees.
George Osborne has promised to create 3m apprenticeships by 2020 and the levy has been conceived to encourage more employers to hire apprentices, while transfering the cost of the system from government to corporate Britain.
Businesses are far from impressed with the notion of the levy who view it as an unwelcome tax and a time when businesses are looking to exploit the economic recovery. They also believe that the problem will not address the underlying problem that apprenticeships are poor quality.