Fewer than one in five employers support the apprenticeship levy, a poll finds

Fewer than one in five companies support the apprenticeship levy as it currently exists, a poll by the professional body CIPD has found.

A poll of 2,000 employers, first reported in the Financial Times, found that just 17 per cent said they supported the levy scheme in its current form. In comparison, over half (51 per cent) of employers polled said they supported a more flexible training levy.

Figures from the Department for Education also showed that the total number of apprenticeships starts had fallen since the introduction of the levy scheme, and that the scheme was failing in its aim of attracting more young people into choosing apprenticeships.

Official data showed that the total number of apprenticeships starts fell from 494,900 in 2016/17 to 321,400 in 2020/21- that is a 35% drop!

Similarly, the number of new apprenticeships started by those under the age of 19 dropped from 122,750 to just 65,150 over the same period, while new starts for 19 to 24-year-olds fell from 142,200 to 94,600. That is a drop of nearly 47% and over 33% respectively.