Next year April will see the way the government funds apprenticeships in the UK change, with the introduction of the new Apprenticeship Levy. The levy will require all employers operating in the UK with a pay bill over 3 million pounds each year, to make an investment in apprenticeships, regardless of what sector they work in.

However, the British Retail Consortium has called for a delay in the introduction of the levy. "The decision to press ahead with the Levy’s planned start date in April 2017 is a big disappointment to those like the British Retail Consortium who support the Levy’s aims and want it to succeed," said Helen Dickinson, CEO of the BRC.

"There is widespread concern in retail and other industries that had an over-hasty introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy and the design of its current proposals will fail to create apprenticeships at scale and drive up the quality of training."

The BRC argues that the face of retail in the UK is currently undergoing "extensive change" which will have a "dramatic impact" on its workforce and that in orde for future jobs in retail to offer rewarding employment, an employer led solution to the levy must be designed to encourage employers to spend on high quality training.

"As it is, there is a risk the Levy fails both to realise its potential and reach the growth rates required in apprenticeship starts," added Dickinson, who asked the government to delay the introduction of the levy to 2018 in order to design a "truly viable system."


Related news