Apprenticeship Levy cash will support skills, training and employment

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Jamie Hepburn MSP outlines how the Scottish Government plans to spend its share of the Apprenticeship Levy 

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23rd May 2017 by TFN Guest 0 Comments

I read with interest the recent article from Cornerstone on the Apprenticeship Levy.

While it’s clear that some employers may have concerns about the UK Government’s Apprenticeship Levy, the Scottish Government has and continues to work hard developing an approach which meets the needs of employers, the workforce, young people and Scotland’s economy.

While Scotland’s share of the Apprenticeship Levy is around £221 million, this is not additional money, and largely replaces funding the Scottish Government would have previously received. In fact it is estimated that the cost to the public sector will be around £73 million.

Jamie Hepburn, minister for employability and training

Jamie Hepburn, minister for employability and training

With this in mind we have spent time consulting with employers so that we can make sure the money raised through the Apprenticeship Levy is used to support skills, training and employment.

As we set out in our response last year we will invest in 30,000 Modern Apprenticeships per year by 2020 and are increasing the number of Graduate Level and Foundation Apprenticeships which will help equip our workforce.

Over the coming months we will also launch a new £10 million Flexible Workforce Development Fund which will create opportunities for employers to upskill and reskill their existing workforce, plus address skills gaps.

We will also introduce changes to our Modern Apprenticeships, which will provide employers with more flexibility. This includes a new Rural Supplement which recognises the additional costs of delivering apprenticeships in rural areas and removing public sector restrictions which means they have the same access to Modern Apprenticeship funding as those in the private and third sector.

There will be an increase in the support available for apprentices over 25 and disabled people and those with experience of care up to the age of 29.

We are taking forward proposals to refocus Individual Learning Accounts and rebrand them as Individual Training Accounts, which will improve the quality of courses and ensure that they result in industry recognised qualifications. This will make it easier for job seekers and low paid workers to gain access to qualifications and skills training.

This is just the start of the process and we want to show transparency and make it clear that the Levy can bring benefits to organisations. 

That is why I will continue to meet with employers and stakeholders, including the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board and those in the third sector, to discuss how we can build on the employability and training offering we have here in Scotland.

Jamie Hepburn is Scottish Government minister for employability and training

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