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Apprenticeship levy sees UK PLC throw away £80 million in just three months

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09 Sep 2019
Press Office

Press Office

British businesses have thrown away more than £80 million of Apprenticeship levy cash in just three months, GMB can reveal. 

A Freedom of Information request to the Department for Education reveals from May to July this year £80 million in unspent funds were expired from employers’ apprenticeship service accounts.

If money continues to expire at the same rate, at least £320 million will have been wasted after 12 months.

The Apprenticeship Levy, introduced in April 2017, is paid by employers with annual pay bills in excess of £3 million.

A ‘digital fund’ then holds the cash for the company to use for training - after 24 months any amount that remains unspent returns to HMRC.

The first unspent funds began to be reclaimed in May this year.

Carl Parker, GMB National Training Officer, said:

“It's pretty unbelievable that employers are just throwing tens of millions of pounds down the plug hole.

There's a whole army of union learning representatives out there ready and willing to ensure money set aside for apprenticeships is put to good use - there's no excuse for it to be flushed away

Carl Parker, GMB National Training Officer

“Businesses need to engage more with trade unions to make sure this cash is used properly – to give workers get better training and development. Unionised workplaces have better trained and more effective workers.

“There's a whole army of union learning representatives out there ready and willing to ensure money set aside for apprenticeships is put to good use - there's no excuse for it to be flushed away.”

 
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