“The question of whether the UK has an ‘apprenticeship’ or ‘training’ levy is a distraction from the key issue in this debate: how can the UK overcome its chronic underinvestment in employee training and development? It must be remembered that the Apprenticeship Levy was introduced to force UK businesses to make this investment, and deliver a globally competitive workforce.
“The Levy is bringing about this much-needed transformation in skills, but it will take time to embed and for all employers to realise its potential. At only eight months in, it is too early to call time on this intervention.
“The criticism that far more apprenticeships are going to “well-qualified managers, meaning fewer are available to help young people” also needs to be addressed. In fact, historic under-investment in skills means that we are a nation of accidental managers. Only 1 in 5 have had management training, with the workplaces that young people are seeking to join suffering from poor standards of leadership. Indeed, poor management is a key reason for the UK’s productivity being 21% lower than the rest of the G7. New management apprenticeships are addressing this oversight and are delivering skills to both young people and existing managers that are needed for effective workplaces and economic growth.”