UK retailers urge govt to reform apprenticeship levy system

// UK retailers urge government to overhaul apprenticeship levy system
// BRC says retailers could create up to 1,000 roles if system is reformed

Retailers in the UK have called on the government to reform the apprenticeship levy system in an effort to create thousands of new apprenticeship roles in the industry.

According to a study from the BRC, some retailers estimate they could create up to 1,000 new apprenticeships each if the system was overhauled.

The apprenticeship levy, introduced by the UK government in 2017, is a form of taxation designed to help firms offer more apprenticeships.

READ MORE: Kingfisher and AllSaints executives join BRC boardroom

Respondents said that the current system is inadequate, inflexible, and does not support essential courses that are needed for a thriving retail industry, with 95% admitting the system needs to change.

Two-thirds of respondents say more than 40% of their levy funds go unspent and individual retailers have lost up to £12 million per company in unspent funds since the levy was introduced.

“People are losing out on essential training, opportunities are being wasted, and money is being lost”, BRC said.

“Apprenticeships are crucial for employees and businesses — they provide vital opportunities for people to get into the workplace and develop essential skills that will support them through their careers.”

The group, which represents UK retailers added they are also “vital for upskilling the workforce” to ensure it is equipped to meet the huge technological transformation that retail is undergoing.

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