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Media comment: Why it’s time to broaden the Apprenticeship Levy

11 March 2020

Dear editor,

We are disappointed that skills development and apprenticeships do not have a more prominent place in today’s Budget. 

The U.K. doesn’t have a strong track-record when it comes to investing in skills and higher-level skills in particular. But with the world of work changing at breakneck speed, reskilling our workforce will be key to making the most of the digital revolution and boosting our country’s productivity. 

A recent report by the Industrial Strategy Council estimates that 20 percent of the workforce will be significantly under-skilled for their jobs by 2030. Worryingly, our own research also revealed that 37% of UK workers don’t feel that they need to learn new skills despite a growing awareness of the impact of technology on jobs.

We must better support current workers to reskill and upskill throughout their careers, and this cannot be achieved through formal education alone. This is why we need to invest in reskilling, training and lifelong learning. One way for the Government to do this would be to change the Apprenticeship Levy into an Apprenticeship and Skills Levy, making it more accessible for employers and employees alike.

Yours sincerely,  

Andrew Harding FCMA, CGMA
Chief Executive — Management Accounting
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, part of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants