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FSB calls for big businesses to be allowed apprenticeship levy be used by SME suppliers

FSB has repeated its call for larger businesses to be able to use their apprenticeship levy to finance training in smaller suppliers. 

The move comes after figures from the Department for Education confirmed a 59 per cent fall in the number of apprenticeships in the last three months of the academic year, compared with a year earlier. 


“These figures have confirmed our fears over a significant drop in apprenticeships,” said Mike Cherry, National Chairman. “Getting more people doing apprenticeships is critical, especially if we are to tackle the skills shortage biting many small firms.”

“The apprenticeship levy isn’t solely to blame for this drop. The reality is that 98 per cent of firms don’t pay the levy, and these small businesses will be essential to the Government reaching its target of 3 million apprenticeships by 2020. 


“While many small firms are committed to apprenticeships, many are still overwhelmed by the complexities in the system. The Government should make sure that when levy payers are able to share their digital vouchers they do so with small firms in their supply chain. Small firms should also be involved in the design of the new apprenticeship standards.”